Shall we look now, at Isaiah chapter forty three? Isaiah is writing a little over a hundred years before Judah goes into captivity. The northern kingdom, Israel, has recently gone into captivity. The Assyrians have conquered the northern kingdom, but the kingdom of Judah is still strong. Hezekiah is the king, and though he is prophesying a hundred years before the fall, actually, a hundred and six years before Nebuchadnezzar came with the first carrying away of captives, the first conquering of Jerusalem. Yet, he is talking about God’s preservation during the captivity, and God’s restoring of the nation, after the captivity.
So it is fascinating prophecy in that it precedes the period of captivity by over a hundred years, and yet the prophecy is extended out beyond that. God’s preservation and God’s restoration of the nation, after they have been defeated by their enemies. So God’s unfailing love for the nation. Though the nation has failed, failed miserably, God’s love does not fail. God calls them still His people, though they have turned from God, and have turned after idols and all, still God owns them. Though, because they are children, it is necessary to correct them severely, still, they are children.
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee (43:1),
Sort of reminds me of the story that I can remember from a child. About the little gingerbread boy, the little girl had worked hard to bake the perfect gingerbread man. Having formed him, baked him, as she was putting the final raisin button on him, he suddenly jumped out of the pan, and began to run away. She began chasing after him as fast as she could run. He called back, and he said, “Run run, as fast as you can! You’ll never catch me, I’m a gingerbread man!” Sure enough, she couldn’t catch him, he ran away. She went home crying. But the next day as she walked down the street, she looked in the window of the bakery store, and there smiling at her, was her little gingerbread man.
So she went into the store, and she said, “Sir I want my gingerbread man who is in the window.” He said, “He will cost you ten cents.” She said, “No, it’s mine, I made him.” He said, “He will cost you ten cents if you want him.” So she went home, and got her bank, and got the pennies out and went back to the store, and said, “I want my gingerbread man”, and she put the ten pennies down on the counter. The man went to the window, and took the little gingerbread boy out, and handed it to her. As she went down the street, clutching it tightly, she said, “Now you’re really mine. I made you, and now I bought you.”
That’s basically what God is saying here to Israel. “I created you, I formed you, and I have redeemed you. You’re mine.” That’s what God says to you. “I made you, and now I have bought you, you’re mine.”
I’ve called thee by thy name; thou art mine (43:1).
God makes His claim. “You belong to me, you’re mine!”
And when you pass through the waters (43:2),
Now they’re gonna go through some difficult times because of their rebellion. The Proverbs talk about fools because of their rebellion are chastised. The nation is to be chastised. They’re gonna go through some severe times. “When you pass through the waters”…
I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; [Reminds you of the three Hebrew children, walking through the fiery furnace of old Nebuchadnezzar, that would be coming up!] neither shall the flame kindle on thee (43:2).
So God’s declaration. “I’m gonna watch over you. I’ll keep you. You’re gonna go through deep water. You’re gonna go through some fiery trials, but I will be with you. I will sustain you through these things.”
For I am Jehovah thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: and I gave Egypt for thy ransom, and Ethiopia and Seba for thee (43:3).
Now the interesting thing. When the Medo-Persian empire conquered the Babylonian empire, the nation was taken captive by the Babylonians, the Babylonians were then conquered by the Medo-Persian??? empire. When the Medo-Persian empire took over, and Cyrus was the king, Cyrus gave the decree to release the Jews from their captivity, throughout the whole kingdom. To help them to go back, and to reestablish themselves in the land. Shortly after this decree of giving the people back their land, he conquered Egypt, and Ethiopia. So, they think that this reference of, “given them a ransom for thee”, the guy says, “Okay let my people go, and for them, you know, I’ll let you conquer Egypt, and Ethiopia and all.”
Since you were precious in my sight (43:4),
And oh isn’t that, God talking about His people, and He says, “You’re precious in my sight.” I think God looks down tonight, and sees you, and says, “Oh you’re precious in my sight!” Isn’t that neat? God looks upon you with such love, and, “you’re just a precious group of people in my sight!”
Now we’re not always in our own. We have failures. We’re too painfully aware of our failures. Sometimes we’re so disappointed in ourselves. Disappointed in our weaknesses. Yet, as God looks upon you, it’s just with tenderness, with love, forgiveness. “Precious in my sight.”
thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: [Oh I can’t, you know, what can you say, God loves me, I mean, I love it!] therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life (43:4).
“I’m going to watch over you. I’m going to keep you. You’re precious to me, I love you!” What more can God say? What beautiful words coming from God, to His people!
Fear not: [He said] for I am with you: and I will bring your descendants from the east, and I will gather them from the west; And I will say to the north, Give them up; and to the south, Don’t keep them back: and I will bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, and formed him; yea, I have made him (43:5-7).
So God’s promise, and I said, this is a hundred years before they went into captivity, and yet, God is promising how He’s gonna bring them back. He’s gonna gather them from the east, and west, and north, and south, where they’ve been scattered, and gonna bring them back into the land.
Then the Lord said, “For I have created him for my glory”. Here again is one of those phrases that you want to take a special note of. Because it answers that philosophical question that has plagued the minds of man through the centuries. “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence?” The purpose of your existence is to bring glory to God. “I have created you for my glory”, God said.
If you will live your life to bring glory to God, you will have the most satisfying, fulfilling, life possible! You will be able to say, with David, “My cup runneth over. I can’t handle it all!” God’s blessing, God’s goodness is more than I can handle!”, when you live for His glory!
If you live for your own glory, if you live for yourself, then the glory will fade and, and you will be brought into shame. There will be an emptiness. There will always be the desire for more, and more, and more. But how satisfying it is to live a life to bring glory to God. That’s the purpose of your existence.
When in heaven, as the cherubim are worshiping God around the throne, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!”, the twenty four elders respond to that worship, and they say, “Thou art worthy O God to receive glory and honor, for thou has created all things, and for your good pleasure, they are, and were, created.”
Now here God said, “I have created you. I have formed you. I have made you.” I mean, you haven’t evolved. “I am the one, I formed you, I created you, I made you.” But why did He make you? For His glory. Learn that. It’s a key of life. Live for His glory, and you’ll have a successful life. A rich and full life.
Bring forth [He said] the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears (43:8).
It’s tragic when people having eyes, do not see, and having ears, do not hear. That insensitivity that people have to spiritual things. They’re insensate. The Bible says, “The natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them, they are spiritually discerned.” Having eyes, they do not see, having ears, they do not hear, and so here he speaks of, of this condition of those who had eyes, but they were blind. They had ears, but they were deaf.
And let all the nations be gathered together, let the people be assembled: and who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is the truth (43:9).
Now this is sort of a challenge to God, to the nation, and their god. “If they are really gods, let them declare the former things”, or, “let them declare what is going to happen.” It’s a challenge for them to prophesy, and predict future events. To tell a thing before it takes place. The Lord declares, “Show us these things, or else bring forth their witnesses that they may be justified. Let, let’s see the witness to what they have said, to what has been accomplished. Or, let them hear what I am saying, and say, It is the truth.” God, who speaks of former things before they happen. God who speaks of future things before they happen. The former things refers to the prophesies already fulfilled. Of course the other are those that are yet to be fulfilled. So God said…
You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen (43:10):
Now even as the Lord said this to Israel, Jesus said this to His church. So much of what applies in God’s relationship with Israel, is parallel to the relationship of Christ and His church. You can take really, those scriptures, and those promises that God makes to His people, and, and I don’t think that you do the scriptures injustice by applying them to the church, and the relationship of Christ to the church. Though God speaks to Israel and says, “I love you. You’re precious in my eyes.” Jesus says that to you, His church. That same kind of a close relationship that Israel experienced with the Father, is the kind of a relationship that you experience with His Son, Jesus Christ. That beautiful loving relationship.
So there are those who like to take the scriptures and carefully divide them off, and you get these kind of promises, “When you pass through the water, I will be with you”, you know. “And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. And through the fires…”, and so forth. They say, “Well you can’t take that for you. That’s a promise to Israel. That’s not to the church!” and so forth. They try to divide the scripture that way, and they say, “Rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Well, in a technical sense they are right, but yet, I do not see that the relationship of the church with Christ is that much different than the relationship with Israel and God. Israel was called, “The wife of God”, and the church is, “The wife, the bride of Christ”, and so I, I don’t like to deny people the, the wonderful promises of God to His people. If you’re God’s people, I, I believe the promises come to us.
Now Jesus said, “You are my witnesses. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me. Both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, Samaria”. So here, “You are my witnesses saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen.” And you are servants of God. God has chosen you. Jesus said, “You did not choose me, I chose you, and ordained that you should be my disciples, and that you should bring forth fruit.”
that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me (43:10).
“I am God. There’s no other God, before me, or after me. I’m it!” He is saying.
I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside me there is no saviour (43:11).
So this declaration of God, and in the face of the new ager’s who are standing at Malibu, and declaring that they are God, and the televangelists, some of them who are saying that they are gods. God said, “Beside me, there is none. I’m God. There’s none before me, and there’s none after me. I’m it. If you want a true God, this is it!” You have really, that’s it!
I’ve declared, and I have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore you are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God (43:12).
Now the nation Israel, was to be the witness that He is God. A few years ago, when we were travelling in Israel, we saw a young Israeli girl, who was in the Armed Services. She was hitchhiking. So we had some room in the bus, and Kay said to the guy, the driver, “Why don’t we give her a ride?” So, they pulled over, and the girl got in the bus with us. She could speak English, and so Kay started a conversation with her. The, the girl soon indicated to Kay that she was an atheist. She didn’t believe in God. So Kay said, “Well, do you, do you observe Sabbaths?”, she said, “Oh yes. They all observe Sabbaths, that’s part of our culture.” So Kay said, “Well do you know the Bible? Have you ever read the Bible?” She said, “Of course, we have to at school.” And, she said, “But you don’t believe the Bible?” “No”, she said, “That was just sort of like fairy tales. People need to believe in something, and so they made up these stories about God, so that the people could believe in something.”
So I said to her, “You know, the interesting thing to me, is that your being in this land, is more or less proof to me, that God does exist.” Taking the scripture here, “you are my witnesses”. She said, “How do you mean?” I said, “Well, now you are in the land here. The Bible said that God would bring you back into the land. But if you don’t believe in God, then what right do you have for this land? Here you’re armed, and you’re in the service here and all. But what right do you have being here? What right do you have fighting against the Arabs, and the Palestinians? Why should you have this land?” She said, “Well God gave it this…”, I said, “Wait a minute! You don’t believe in God!” Nix that one! But, I said, “The very fact that you are here in this land, as a nation, is a witness to the truth of God, and God’s word.” This is what God said, “You are my witnesses”. Your very existence, the continued existence of the nation of Israel is a witness of the truth of God. A very strong witness of the truth of God.
Yes, [He said] before the day was I am [“Before there was a time, before there were days, I existed, I am and I have showed when there was no strange God among you, and therefore you are my witnesses saith the Lord, that I am God before the day was I am.”] he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work and who shall hinder it (43:13)?
God is declaring now His sovereign power, awesome power, “I will work, and who will hinder my work? There are none that can deliver me, can deliver out of my hand.” I think of the words of Jesus to His disciples. “I have given them eternal life, and no man can pluck them out of my hand.” How beautiful! So, “I will work, and who can hinder it?” Who can, who can stop the work of God?
Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and I have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King (43:14-15).
Now He speaks here of Babylon, and Babylon is not yet a, a dominating empire. Babylon is still a secondary power. Assyria is the great power in the world at this point. But He even is speaking already of the fall of Babylon, before it ever rose. “I am Jehovah, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.”
Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters (43:16);
Could this be a hint of the ocean currents? We know that there are paths in the waters, currents in the oceans that have been discovered. Of course they are now used by the ocean liners, and, and the freighters and so forth. They follow the ocean currents, and save actually tremendously, on fuel by taking the paths in the seas.
Which bringeth forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, and they are quenched as a tow. [Or a punk, a fuse, so God’s speaking of gonna bring Babylon down.] Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen (43:17-20).
Now you go over to Israel today, and you do see that God has done just that. Down in the once desert area, around Beersheba, they have brought the water from the sea of Galilee, and they’ve irrigated down there. It’s much like our Imperial valley, the weather is warm, and it is compatible for growing food year round. It’s very lush glorious area, that was once desert area there, caused the rivers in the desert, and the waters in the wilderness. “Rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.”
This people have I formed [“I’ve made, I’ve formed, I’ve created”, God said, “I’ve formed”] them for myself; and they shall show forth my praise (43:21).
Now again, the parallel in the new testament, the book of Ephesians, chapter one, as He speaks of His chosen, having chosen us in Christ, before the foundations of the world. That He might, that we might be to the praise of the glory of His grace. That we might bring glory to God. So, “I have formed you”, He said, “for myself, and they shall show forth my praise.”
But [He said] you have not called upon me, O Jacob; but you’ve been weary of me, O Israel. [Here they are this favored nation status with God, all of the blessings of God, and still they have not responded.] Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of the burnt offerings; neither have you honored me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. But you have brought me no sweet cane with [mercy, with] money (43:22-24),
Now the sweet cane was a part of the chemicals, or a part of the perfume actually, that they used in the making of the anointing oil. In going back to the book of Exodus, as God commanded them to make this holy anointed oil, to anoint the, for consecration, the different vessels and all. This anointing oil, a part of the concocting of it, included this cane. It’s a reference to this “sweet cane”, which was sort of a perfume, an oiled perfume, and God said, “You haven’t brought it to me.”
neither have you filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but you have made me to serve with your sins, thou hast wearied me with your iniquities. [Here God is wanting fellowship, but they continue in their sin, they continue in their iniquity, and God can’t fellowship with them in that condition.]
But I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake (43:24-25),
Not really because you deserve it, it is through His grace that they have been forgiven. It is through God’s grace that you are forgiven. We don’t deserve these blessings of God, we don’t deserve all that God has done for us. It’s through His grace, in order that He might have fellowship with you. He exercises His grace towards you. Then He said…
I will not remember your sins (43:25).
Isn’t that great? God forgets one thing, your sins. I love that! God said He’ll never bring it up against you again. That’s what real forgiveness is all about! We say, “Oh I forgive you!”, but we really don’t, quite often. Because when there is true forgiveness, there is also forgetness! True forgiveness doesn’t bring it up again. When a person says, “Well, I forgive you, that’s alright.” Not always is it a true forgiveness. Because when an incident arises at a later time, and you say, “Oh I’m so sorry, would you forgive me?” “Hey man, how many, I already”, you know, “you did that before, don’t you remember?” Well, it wasn’t a true forgiveness if it’s being brought up again and remembered against you again.
So God’s great forgiveness is, is that of, forgetting. Not, that, that’s, that’s the kind of forgiveness that you have from God! Your past has been blotted out! As far as God is concerned, the past sin does not exist! God’s forgiveness is total, and God’s forgiveness is complete!
You are the one who won’t forgive yourself! You are the one who is living in this misery, because you can’t forget! What a shame to constantly be bringing it up to God, when He’s already forgot it! You’re reminding Him of it! That’s not a smart thing to do! Receive God’s total and complete forgiveness. Realize that it’s not to be remembered against you again!
Here is the word justified, “That you may be justified”, and that’s what this kind of forgiveness is all about. Justified means “just as though you never did it”. That’s, that’s the kind of forgiveness that God has for you. It’s just as though you never did it! That’s beautiful! God doesn’t remember it against me ever again, because I am just as though I had never done it in the first place! That’s what God’s justification is all about!
Declare thou that you may be justified, lets plead together (43:26):
In another little ways further along the line here in Isaiah, we’re gonna read, “Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they may be as white as snow. Though they be red as crimson, they may be as white as wool.” God wanting to forgive you. Sometimes we have the wrong concept of God, we think that God’s holding it against me. No, God wants to forgive you, God wants to get it out of the way. He says, “Just confess it, so we can move on! Don’t hang onto it. Just confess it, forsake it, and let’s go on. I’ll forget it, I’ll forgive, and I’ll justify you! Come now, let’s reason together, I’m willing to forgive, I’m willing to justify you!” Now the sin goes back to your first father, back to Adam.
Your first father sinned, and even your teachers have transgressed against me. [“There is none righteous, no not one, none that doeth good, none that seeketh after God”, the scripture said.] Therefore [He said] I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to the reproaches (43:27-28).
Their sin goes back to your, your first father.
Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the Lord that made thee, formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen (44:1-2).
So the idea of “chosen”, twice mentioned here. Again, “formed you, I have made you”. God has formed His people, God has chosen His people.
And I will pour water upon him that is thirsty (44:3),
Remember Jesus stood and said, “If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink, and he that drinketh of the water that I give, out of his innermost being, floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my Spirit upon my children, and my blessings on your offspring.” Or your children, your descendants will be blessed.
It’s such a glorious thing to serve the Lord, and see the blessings of the Lord upon your children, and your children’s children. What a joy and what a blessing it is, to have this beautiful work of God in the hearts of our children, and of our children’s children. As we are able to see it now in the next generation. Just so beautiful! Pouring water upon the thirsty.
floods upon the dry ground: [And the relationship again] pouring the spirit upon your children, [The last days, the Lord said He’ll pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophecy, young men shall see visions.] And they shall spring up [The Lord said] among the grass, as willows by the water courses (44:3-4).
This, this springing up, the abundance, and that freshness, and that neat, neat life that we have in Christ!
And one shall say, I am the Lord’s; another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel (44:4-5).
So that commitment to God, “I’m the Lord’s!”, and they begin to take the names, such as Israel, “governed by God”, and that commitment of themselves to God.
And thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer [Jesus Christ] the Lord of hosts; I am the first, I am the last; beside me there is no God (44:6).
In the book of Revelation, “the Beginning and the End, I’m the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the totality”. Our lives are completely encompassed by Him. “He’s behind me”, the psalmist said, “He is before me, and His hand is upon me.” As Paul said, “In Him we live, we move, we have our being.” “I am the First and the Last, I’m the Beginning and the End, I’m the Alpha and the Omega.” “And beside me, there is no true God.” There are gods that people have, but they are not true Gods.
And who, as I, shall call, and declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them (44:7).
Now God said, “Who can, who can prophecy like I can? Who can declare it before it ever happens, as I do? The things that are gonna happen, who can, who can tell the future. Let him come, and let him show us, let him demonstrate!”
Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told you from that time, and have declared it? you are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? there is no God; I know not any (44:8).
I like that! If He doesn’t know of any, then it’s rather foolish for you to say, you do. I feel so sorry, well, I don’t feel sorry, I feel I could punch his lights out! That minister up in Washington who said, “When I look in the mirror, I see God, and when God looks in the mirror, He sees me. I am God.” Sad, well, it’s, it’s, worse than that. It’s bad! If he’d only read! Jesus said, “In that day I’ll say, Depart from me, I never knew you”. “But hey I’m God!” “I didn’t know you. Because beside me, there is no God, I know not any.”
Now they that make a graven image (44:9),
All of these little idols are empty, they are nothing! Now the nation had been playing around with idolatry. When Hezekiah became king, he destroyed many of the idols that they had set up. There was a surface spiritual reformation under Hezekiah. But at the death of Hezekiah, idolatry came back with a vengeance. The nation of Judah was plunging into idolatry, so by the time that Jeremiah, a hundred years later, was prophesying, the nation was given over to idolatry. There were many idols in every home, these little statues that the people prayed before and the people worshiped. It was an abomination unto God, and it was forbidden under the law, and yet, the people began to make these idols.
The interesting thing is that when professor Shiloh did the excavations on the site of Offal, the city of David there in Jerusalem, as they were doing their excavations, they came to the strata of ashes that were created when Nebuchadnezzar burned the city of Jerusalem. You can see there in the excavations, as they made a cut down, you can see there the strata of ashes that are a mute testimony to the truth of God’s word, that spoke of Jerusalem being burned of fire by Nebuchadnezzar. You can see the ashes of that fire, it’s still there as a strata in the cuts that they’ve made there on the side of the mountain. In the homes at that strata, the houses of the people, professor Shiloh told me that they found hundreds of little idols. Several little idols in each house that was there. So God is going to address here the subject of idolatry, making idols and worshiping them.
Though it doesn’t really relate to us today, in as much as we don’t really far, uh form, or fashion little idols, still people have idols in their hearts that they worship. You see, the idols to them represented many of the things that people worship today. These things they called “gods”, and they made little likenesses to represent these different things.
So if a person says, “I’m a party animal. I love to party. You know, I live to party and all!”, and I’ve seen it on the bumper stickers you know! “Life is a party, born to party.” Then there are those, “Born to shop”, that is, that is a person’s god! They haven’t created an idol, but in those days they, they did have the little idol Bachus, and that was saying, “I’m born to party, I live for partying!” They did have the little idols that represented Ashtoreth. That was saying, “I’m into sex.” They did have idols that represented money and power, and, and they said, “I’m after the bucks.” So they formed idols. The Lord speaks of the folly of these. “They make these little graven images”…
but they are all of them vanity; [Or emptiness] and their delectable things shall not profit; [Their crafty arts] and they are their own witnesses; [These little idols are, are, can’t you see?] they have eyes and can’t see, and they don’t know anything; that it might be just a sort of a shame (44:9).
Here’s a person praying to this little idol, coming in and praying before it and all, and the Lord says, “It’s got little eyes on it, but it can’t see. It has a head on it, but there’s no brains, I mean, can’t think, it doesn’t know anything. Yet here is a person worshiping it.”
Who has formed a god, or has molded a graven image that is profitable for nothing (44:10)?
They’ve, they’ve made these little idols and images, and they’ve put all this work in it, but they’re really worthless! They’re profitable for nothing!
Behold, all of his fellows shall be ashamed: the workmen, they are men: let them be gathered together, let them stand up; and they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. For the smith with the tongs, he works in the coals, he fashions it with hammers, he works it with the strength of his arms: and yet he gets hungry, and his strength fails: he drinks no water, and he is faint. [Making this little god. Devoting himself to the creating of this little god.] The carpenter stretches out his ruler; he marks it out with a line; he fits it with his planes, and he marks it with a compass, and he makes it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. [So fashions out this little, carves out this little idol, makes it beautiful like a handsome man, that it might be there in the house.] He hews down a cedar tree, he takes the cypress and the oak, which he [stretches, or] strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: and he plants an ash tree, and the rain does nourish it. And then it shall be for a man to burn: and he will take thereof, and he will warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and bakes bread; yea, he makes a god, and worships it; he makes a graven image, and he falls down to it (44:11-15).
Now here’s the whole folly of it. Here’s a piece of wood, he’s chopped a piece of oak.
Part of it he puts in the fireplace, so he can keep warm. He bakes his bread, puts it in the oven, and heats the oven, and bakes his bread with part of the wood. Then, with the rest of it he, he carves a little god, and he worships it (44:16).
Now he said, here’s the inconsistency. He burns part in the fire, part of it he uses to roast the flesh that he eats, that he might be satisfied, yes, he warms himself.
and he says, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the rest of it he makes a god, even his graven image: and he falls down to it, and he worships it, and prays unto it, and says, Deliver me; for you are my god (44:17).
It’s a stick! He doesn’t stop to think, “Man I burned part of this in the fireplace, and burnt part of it in the oven, and then carves it into something, says, “You’re my god! Help me!”
They have not known or understood: [They don’t stop to think how ridiculous!] for he has shut their eyes (44:18),
When a man turns his back upon God, and the truth of God, that man loses a certain part of his reasoning capacities. The Bible said that, “God will give to them a strong delusion, that they might believe a lie, because they did not have the love of the truth in their hearts.”
The Bible speaks about a reprobate mind. That is the mind that has deliberately closed God out of it, because they did not want to retain God in their minds, God gave them over to reprobate minds. There are people whose minds have become reprobate. The things that they do are shocking! You cannot imagine intelligent grown men, and women, doing the things that they do! You think, “How in the world can you do those things?”
You people in Orange County do live a rather sheltered life. You don’t know what’s going on in that world out there! There are things that the news media isn’t showing you, that would absolutely shock you, horrify you!
Every Father’s day, up in San Francisco, that community there puts on a parade in downtown San Francisco. We’re gonna send up some video cameras this year to take some shots of that parade, and we will definitely censor it, and edit it. We will have to. But we would like to show you some of the things that are done by supposedly intelligent people in our community. College professors, business leaders, and when you see what is happening, as me, you’ll shake your head in disbelief, and say, “I can’t believe that’s the United States. I could believe it is Sodom and Gomorrah, but I can’t believe it’s happening in the United States.”
But that’s sort of the tragic consequence of shutting God out of your life. A person may say, “Oh that’s so stupid! I would never do that!” Be careful! When you shut your mind to the truth, God then lets you have a reprobate mind, and you will believe a lie rather than the truth.
I have some very shocking pictures of this Rashinesh community that was up in Oregon. Again, you can’t believe it, and again, we’d have to edit it. But I’ve got, of people, the things that they were doing, lying on the floor, riding on the floor, screaming! Thousands of them in the worship of this Rashinesh. Of course he’s dead now. Their god is dead, poor people! Their god died! But these are intelligent people, these are your neighbors!
The things that are coming out in the court right now, in this trial that is going on here in Orange County. Where these girls are, are finally beginning to remember some of the Satanic cultish activities that their parents led them through when they were growing up. Things that were so horrible, so shocking that they blocked them out of their minds, and you read these things, and you say, “Can, can intelligent people do those, how can intelligent people…”, it’s because, having rejected God, God has given them over to reprobate minds, void of understanding.
So they don’t consider in their hearts, neither is there knowledge or understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yes, I baked bread upon the coals, and I roasted the flesh and eaten it: and I shall make out of the rest of it an abomination? and I’ll fall down to this stock or this branch of a tree? He feeds on ashes: a deceived heart has turned him aside, and he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? Now remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for you are my servant: and I have formed you; and you are my servant: O Israel, and you shall not be forgotten of me (44:19-21).
“So, so take this, look at it and remember that it’s God who has created you and formed you. That you might keep your rational senses about you.” I love this!
I have blotted out as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, [“I’ve just blotted it out, can’t see it, like a thick cloud, covered it!”] and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed you. [God’s cry unto them!] Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord has done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel (44:22-24).
So the calling to nature to just rejoice in the marvelous works of God among His people. God’s work among you. Oh give thanks! Rejoice! For the Lord has formed you, and has worked among you, and He has redeemed you!
Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that makes all things; that stretched forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself; [“I’m God, I’m the one that’s done these things!”] That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and makes the diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish (44:25);
As Paul said, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, because they worshiped and served the creature, more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever more.” The moment you deny the existence of God as the Creator, and you begin to buy into the idiocy of the evolutionary theory, you have to set aside your natural intelligence, logic. Because you are declaring this anomaly, that you can have design without a designer.
Now that, that, that is going in face of my intelligent mind. “There was an explosion in a print factory, and this book came out of it!” “All of the songs in neat order, numbered, with all of the notes, and the words to the verses. It was a gigantic explosion, and it took several billion years for all of the letters to fall into place, but given enough time…” And we laugh because it’s idiocy! But yet the chances of this book coming to pass through an explosion in a print factory is much more practical than your human body coming to pass by matter on matter, over billions of years! Much more insane to think that you’re body could’ve just come together, in the beautiful, fabulous design, without any designer behind it, without intelligence. The “I” factor that’s missing in the evolutionary theory. So, “God frustrates the tokens of liars, makes the diviners mad, and He turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish.”
That confirms the word of his servant, and performs the counsel of his messengers; that says to Jerusalem, You will be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You will be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That says to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers (44:26-27):
“Now I’m the Lord, and I say to Jerusalem, You’re gonna be inhabited, to the cities of Judah, You’re gonna be built.” This is before Jerusalem fell, a hundred years before Jerusalem fell, and God is already prophesying of these events. They, they fell, they were seventy years in captivity, so this is a hundred and seventy years, actually a hundred and eighty years before it happened, God is prophesying it, and then He goes one step further…
That says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You will be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid (44:28).
A hundred and eighty years later, Cyrus the king of Persia, said to the Jews, “Go back, rebuild the temple, rebuild the city.” Amazing, God names him before he was ever born. So this is what God was talking about. “I am God, I speak of things before they happen. If you’re gods prove it. Bring us some witnesses. Say something that’s gonna take place, so that when it happens, we know that you are God! But that you may know that I am God, and there is none like me! Here he is, Cyrus, you’re my shepherd!” Here’s this neat, internal evidence of inspiration because it’s impossible.
In fact it is so impossible that the critics of the Bible say, “Isaiah didn’t really write this. There were two Isaiah’s. This was written after the fact by another man who put the name Isaiah to it.” Unfortunately he didn’t inform Jesus, and so Jesus thought that Isaiah had written this, and quotes part of this portion and says that Isaiah prophesied it. But Jesus doesn’t know as much as they know. In fact, Jesus may not have said all of the things that He said.
They are determining now, which things Jesus said, and which He didn’t. A, the national British, or, Canadian television network is gonna be here next Sunday. They called and were interviewing me on the phone, concerning this group of men who are meeting together in regular sessions to determine which words are actually words of Christ and so forth. They wanted to get my comments, and they got them. So they want to come out and, so they’ll be here next Sunday, and it’ll be interesting.
But you worship a marvelous God who has formed you, who has created you for His purposes. That, He might love you, He has chosen you, you are precious in His sight. He desires to just demonstrate His love to you in so many different ways. He just wants you to walk in fellowship with Him. He wants you to just surrender to His love, and to His Spirit, that you might know the richness of that fellowship, and of that love that He has for you. Surely that’s not asking too much. May God help us to respond to His love, whereby He has forgiven us our sins, whereby He has forgotten our past, whereby He has justified us, in order that He might fellowship with us, and may we live in fellowship with the living God this week, as He ministers to you, the richness of His loving grace. Shall we pray?
Father, we thank You for Your word. Lord we know that there is no God like You! You are the First, and the Last, and beside You there is no other! May we allow You upon the throne of our lives, as we worship You, and as we fellowship together. Lord, bless Your people. As they go forth this week, Lord be with them, guide them, direct them, anoint them, use them, as Your witness to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7262