June 12: Isaiah 44
Deuteronomy 17; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44; Revelation 14
Verse 20 of Isaiah 44 pictures vividly the diabolical predicament of mankind. A craftsman exercises great skill in fashioning an idol, a false god (9-17). But in the process, he does not stop to consider that he uses half of his materials to eat from, and to warm himself (15-16). The very materials used just for such a mundane, fleeting task just a minute ago - these will now become . . . A god (17)? He never questions the logic: shall I now fall down and worship what was just a minute ago heated a below-average meal (19)?!
Why does he not connect the dots right in front of him? Because God blinded him, and all mankind (18). Yes - you read that right: God blinded him. Why? Doesn’t God want worshipers? Yes, yet for that He must renew our hearts, which are full of delusions (20). We are totally free to do what we want - and that’s our biggest problem. We are enslaved to our own wills, and we cannot deliver ourselves.
So God says, “Have it your way.” God lets the idol’s craftsmen and its worshipers experience the pathetic impotence of what they worship, that they might turn, and seek and worship the only God (6).
As for Israel, God’s people, let them remember these things (21). What things? That God is God; that they are His people entirely by His grace, and that all things happen according to the purpose of His will (Eph. 1:5, 9, 11). Do not forget; preach to yourselves, O people of God: God, and His gospel. Read the chapter again, reflecting on how it informed Romans 1-3, and Ephesians 1.