Carrying or Carried?
Heavenly Father, help me to bring my troubles to You and to leave them with You.
Read Isaiah 46:1–13
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low;
their idols are borne by beasts of burden.
The images that are carried about are burdensome,
a burden for the weary.
2 They stoop and bow down together;
unable to rescue the burden,
they themselves go off into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born.
4 Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
5 “With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?
6 Some pour out gold from their bags
and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god,
and they bow down and worship it.
7 They lift it to their shoulders and carry it;
they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
From that spot it cannot move.
Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer;
it cannot save them from their troubles.
8 “Remember this, keep it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.
9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,
you who are now far from my righteousness.
13 I am bringing my righteousness near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
my splendor to Israel.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever noticed that the more stuff we have, the more it possesses us rather than we possess it?
So easily our precious time and our hearts’ affections are taken up by what is of no eternal value. Idols come in many shapes and sizes in today’s world. At the beginning of today’s passage there is a stunning comparison of idols to the living God. Idols are a burden, and have to be carried about (1,2). But in dramatic contrast the living God is the One who carries us!
From cradle to grave he sustains and rescues us (3,4).
Today the Lord is calling us to roll the heavy weight of our anxiety onto him, because he cares about us (1 Pet. 5:7). Paul puts it memorably: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (Phil. 4:6, NLT). The Lord is longing to be gracious to us (Isa. 30:18) and will pour his peace into our hearts if we will give up trusting in idols and commit everything to him.
The problem with idols is that they cannot save us from our troubles (7). In contrast our God is well able to rescue us. He was preparing a conqueror “from the east” (11), Cyrus (Isa. 44:28), to save his people from the Babylonians and bring them safely home. And in the person of Jesus he has brought about an incomparably greater deliverance (13).
Think about what you constantly allow your mind to be burdened by. Oftentimes those things are our idols. Take note.
There is no one like You, Lord! Help me to trust You today.
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