58 Isaiah / Part 2 (7)


Even to your graying years

Isaiah 46:1-4
Ephesians 1:3-7
T At the fall of gods of Babylonia

 By Chapter 45 of the last time, we heard a hot message of Isaiah that God used Cyrus, King of Persia, for the Israeli salvation. Though it points after one century and a half from the times of Isaiah, but Cyrus distinguished himself in a moment, and brought Babylon under control in an instant without being bleeding, and appeared to the stage of the history. After such Chapter 45, a drama of collapse of Babylonia begins to unfold now.

 "Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over; their images are consigned to the beasts and the cattle. The things that you carry ate burdensome, a load for the weary beast. A load for the weary beast. They stooped over, they have bowed down together; they could not rescue the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity."(46:1-2), and Chapter 46 begins at the fall of gods of Babylonia. Bel was the chief god Marduke of Babylon, Nebo could say even the associate chief god with that son, but, rabbis would pick up Bel and Nebo on a back of domestic animal and are going to escape for a crisis of Babylon collapse surely. However, they were found by soldiers of Cyrus, and they became captives. As it were, but it seems to want to say that the person who obtained these gods wins to fight. To make gods their captives and take them to one's country, it seems that it have been in any place, and in any kind of times of world race. It will want to do prosperity of the country to his own thing by making gods a target. However, Bel and Nebo can do nothing while they catch such a humiliation. They become heavy loads of the animals which themselves much less the protection carries it on its back, even though they are guardians deity of Babylon. A notice of Babylon collapse is written down in Chapter 47 vividly. And when that scene was realized by Cyrus, he got a title of Babylon King and entered a fortress without being bleeding and accepted the gods as just one's guardian deity and recognized that the victory depends on Marduke, then the position of neither Bel nor Nebo changes. However, they are returned to the same shrine, and expected to serve Cyrus this time. It may be said that they bend a knee before Cyrus and kneeled.


U "Listen to Me"

 Prophet conveys declaration of God loudly here, just like he does totally sympathize with such gods of Babylon. "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, you who have been borne by Me from birth, and have been carried from the womb; even to your old age, I shall be the same, and even to your graying years I shall bear you! I have done it, and I shall carry you; and I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you."(3-4) This is the first thing that we want to hear from here. There is it, "O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel,", but, as for these two saying "Israel" and "Jacob", we have heard at 44:1, they show "Jacob" having old crime constitution and "Israel" modernized by God, but how will be it here? "The remnant" means that few people avoiding ruin by a blessing of God, and it was what heard for a long time in Israel, but there is it at 45:20, "Gather yourselves and come; draw near together, you fugitives of the nations;", and it insists that there is a remaining person in a foreigner, too. We must hear that Isaiah connects it with "the end" and "the salvation" which is saying in the New Testament, which is focused at the new age of God. I think it may be good to think that "Jacob" hints Jew and "Israel" hints at us of the present age.

 I think, the eager wish of God "Listen to Me," will be of course turned to the Jew directly. But, when we think that while they were enjoying the return to Palestine and the benefits of God rebuilding of Jerusalem shrine, but they met Jerusalem fall and lost their country, and at last in AD70 year after the large rebellion times to Rome, they are having been with travelling people in world each place, it may be said that this wish did not reach them after all. And Isaiah repeats it in Verse 12 once again "Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, who are far from righteousness.". This message repeated itself many many times. However, they did not have an ear to hear. It will seem to project phase of life itself of the present age, and surely according to the words, "The remnant" will be totally very few people of the Lord in the present age, too. However, there are the people. When hope of this prophet is put there, his pain and expectation mingle and seem to be handed down.


V Even to your graying years

 The second rank which I want to hear from Verse 3-4 is to "carry". It will be particular about Bel and Nebo a little more. In fact, when Babylon was proud of the energy, they were carried at the center of the New Year festival done in April, and paraded between both shrines. They made the huge image a show and showed off a figure of the glory among people. However, God avoids this decidedly. "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images."(42:8, 48:11), and the evaluation of God for them was consistent. "Those who lavish gold from the purse and weigh silver on the scale hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; they bow down, indeed they worship it. They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it; they set it in its place and it stands there. It does not move from it place, though one may cry to it, it cannot answer; it cannot deliver him from his distress."(6-7) This is a replica, and people would enshrine it in one's house, and intend it for their worship. Prophet does not recognize such gods with God having glory at all and assumes it is only idol who does not say anything. About every religion of the world having an idol, it may be said that this is stern and fair evaluation of God.

 Even if it will be seen how magnificently and is a huge stone statue or is made in gold, they are only the decorations which can not say anything, but, our God is "different from them. God carried us", this was the center point of the testimony of seniors and successive prophets, who fought for their faith. He did Israel prisoners in Babylon, and let them return from Babylon after 70, and scattered Israel to all over the world when Rome armed forces invasion of AD70 year, and called that travelling people in Palestine recently, surely all these things will be said that God has carried them for His own plan. There is a person who pointed out that "The most basic message of the Bible is here, who is the One whom we should worship truly, and He kept and supported us alive truly.", but it will be really right. A whole message of the Bible is condensed here.

 I confess it, but, in fact, I used time here for days. However, as much as I use many words, it seemed to go away from the message of here, and my explanation was completely unnecessary.

 "You who have been borne by Me from birth, and have been carried from the womb;"(3), I want you to hear this is called yourself. "Even to your old age, I shall be the same,"(4), and it is repeated five times first person nominative case emphasis form of God saying with "Me" in this Verse 4, too. Is not there hear strong-willed will of God that "I carry you", appearing? "Even if we become white hair, God protects, encourages support, leads, cheers up, and carries us on His back so.", and we prostrate ourselves before God, and we must hear and confess that this is the center of our faith. "Even to your old age, I shall be the same, and even to your graying years I shall bear you! I have done it, and I shall carry you; and I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you.". Extinction of Babylon is not the central subject of here. "Say 'The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob.'", and we must hear that atonement of the cross of Jesus is a central message told to here. God created us newly. That is why He takes responsibility for our all. When we hear it in this way, it reaches a blessing of God, and it is already enough for us. Shall we going to hear the blessing declaration of God thus, "I bless you"?