Simply No Comparison
Oh God, there is none like You, and nothing on earth can be compared 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.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Our world and that of Isaiah have at least one thing in common: they are both populated with hundreds of gods who compete with each other for a loyal following. Some of these so-called deities seem stronger and more real to exiled Israel than Yahweh, their own God. Isaiah, however, asks them to stop and think for a moment. Then they’d soon see that there was simply no comparison between Yahweh and his competitors.
The God of Israel is a living God, whereas the gods of Babylon, like Bel and Nebo, are lifeless, feckless idols, manufactured by human hands and paid for out of people’s own pockets. What sort of gods can they ever amount to? Yahweh, by contrast, is a powerful savior who lifts people’s burdens from their backs (Psa. 68:19) and sets them free. The Babylonian gods, on the other hand, are unable to move themselves, and they become burdens as their devotees parade them through the streets on their shoulders. They couldn’t save a fly, whereas Yahweh powerfully rescues people from trouble.
Yahweh is a faithful God who gives life to people at birth and will sustain them until old age. He neither fails nor surrenders, whereas his competitors come and go and prove totally unreliable. Yahweh is the only God who doesn’t just predict the future but determines it and brings it about. While the exiles are certain that nothing is happening, Yahweh, against all appearances, is raising up a new ruler who will release them from captivity and allow them to return home. Babylon’s days are numbered. When Cyrus finally arrives on the scene, he will be God’s instrument of change.
In a tolerant age, don’t be fooled into thinking all gods are equal. They’re not. You only have to consider the gods others worship to know that none compares with our Lord Jesus Christ.
What burdens are you carrying today? Have you given them over to God to carry them for you (1 Pet. 5:7)?
Lord, I know that appearances can be deceiving and that You are indeed working on my behalf behind the scenes.