Isaiah 44:6-11 - Rock Island
God is the one solid rock in the sea of ignorance surrounding you.
Read / Listen
Read Isaiah 44:6-11
6 “This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
9 All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 95
Q. What is idolatry?
A. Idolatry is
having or inventing something
in which one trusts
in place of or alongside
of the only true God,
who has revealed himself in his Word.
God sounds appropriately intimidating as He booms out the claims He makes in the first commandment, to not have any gods before Him, and here in Isaiah where mockingly calls out anyone or anything that could possibly dare to challenge His supremacy.
God defines Himself as the first and last, different than anything else, and the one who has existed for all of eternity past, but yet knows what the future holds just as clearly. God is often referred to as 'holy,' a familiar word that most people misunderstand. 'Holy' means much more than 'perfectly righteousness.' Passages like this one in Isaiah that portray God as being entirely 'other,' and entirely above all things, do a good job of explaining the concept of holiness.
The first thing many people associate 'idols' with are artistically formed statues, both large and small. Certainly that was the prevailing idea that God was referring to as He addressed this ancient near eastern culture, calling out those 'who make idols.'
But the concept of idolatry is much deeper, and is just as convicting to us as modern people who would think it quite strange to bow down to an image. Whereas God Almighty refers to Himself here as the 'Rock (v8),' the very foundation of knowledge, wisdom and power, idols represent 'blindness, ignorance and shame' that 'can profit nothing (v9-10).
So although God sounds intimidating in this passage, notice that He makes this pronouncements to bring you peace! He says to you, "Do no tremble, do not be afraid (v8)." Life does not need to be a chaotic balancing act filled with uncertainty. God is calling you to firmly plant your feet on Him, the one true "Rock," who is "Israel's King and Redeemer (v6)."
Our catechism defines an idol as anything "in which one trusts in place of or alongside the one true God." Since God has revealed Himself in His Word, anytime people change, add or subtract from what His Word says, they are breaking the first commandment and placing their own truth before God's. They are committing idolatry.
Most of us would never dare do such a thing.
But ignoring God's Word is every bit as idolatrous as changing, adding or subtracting from it, and most people, including those who identify themselves as Christians, have become completely ignorant of what the Bible says about a whole host of issues, not the least of which is who and what God is.
Make sure that you are not part of the idolatrous crowd who "will be put to shame." Know your Bible. Keep reading it everyday as you are right now. Join the Lord's people every time His call to worship rings out in your church. Eagerly anticipate what God will teach you on the Lord's Day, and then spend the entire week reflecting on what you heard.
This is how it is God keeps your feet fastened to Him, the solid Rock.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who is the first and the last; apart from Him there is no God;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will not succumb to idolatry by not knowing what God has revealed about Himself and His creation in His Word.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 2 Corinthians 3