Daily Devotional Sunday 4th June 2023

by William Moody

Isaiah 46

The Idols of Babylon and the One True God

46:1   Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;
    their idols are on beasts and livestock;
  these things you carry are borne
    as burdens on weary beasts.
  They stoop; they bow down together;
    they cannot save the burden,
    but themselves go into captivity.
  “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
  who have been borne by me from before your birth,
    carried from the womb;
  even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
  I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.
  “To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
    and compare me, that we may be alike?
  Those who lavish gold from the purse,
    and weigh out silver in the scales,
  hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
    then they fall down and worship!
  They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
    they set it in its place, and it stands there;
    it cannot move from its place.
  If one cries to it, it does not answer
    or save him from his trouble.
  “Remember this and stand firm,
    recall it to mind, you transgressors,
    remember the former things of old;
  for I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me,
10   declaring the end from the beginning
    and from ancient times things not yet done,
  saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11   calling a bird of prey from the east,
    the man of my counsel from a far country.
  I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
    I have purposed, and I will do it.
12   “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
    you who are far from righteousness:
13   I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
    and my salvation will not delay;
  I will put salvation in Zion,
    for Israel my glory.”


When a husband or wife are cheated on by their spouse for another man or woman, there is great hurt at how their spouse prefers this other person. In Isaiah the Lord is protesting at how there has been spiritual adultery committed by His people with false gods.

The false gods such as Bel and Nebo of the Babylonians (v1), have to be carried around by animals and they cannot save those who worship them (v2). The Lord by contrast loves and cares for the people He has created right into their old age (v3-4). Also, the Lord has no equal (v5) whereas these idols have had to be made (v6).

A man having the most beautiful woman in the world in regards her looks and personality, to then reject her for an ugly and cruel woman, is nowhere near as shocking as when God’s people reject Him for idols.

God’s people have lost sight of His greatness (v8-11). The ‘bird of prey from the east’ (11), is likely the future King Cyrus who the Lord would raise up to deliver His people. The people of God were failing to grasp what the Lord in His power is able to do and they need to repent (v12-13).

What are the idols you worship and rely on before the Lord?

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.