43:1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
4 Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.
5 Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes,
And the deaf who have ears.
9 Let all the nations be gathered together,
And let the people be assembled.
Who among them can declare this,
And show us former things?
Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified;
Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”
10 “You are My witnesses,” says theLord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
And besides Me there is no savior.
12 I have declared and saved,
I have proclaimed,
And there was no foreign god among you;
Therefore you are My witnesses,”
Says the Lord, “that I am God.
13 Indeed before the day was, I am He;
And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;
I work, and who will reverse it?”
We don't live in an age of idol worship in the same sense as they did. We don't carve shrines from wood or chisel gods from stone. We are more "sophisticated" now. Our gods are reason and our interpretations of science, history, and philosophy. I was listening to the radio while driving several years ago and a historian/sociologist was being interviewed. The topic was the fall of ancient Rome. They were musing over the fact it was such a developed, dominant, and incredible empire yet fell to much lesser civilizations. How could this be? The historian/sociologist felt Rome self-destructed. It was issues within that destroyed her, not forces from outside. They then began to discuss what those issues were and the interviewer asked a very astute question. He observed that the issues that infected and affected Rome were all observable in our culture and asked the historian if we would suffer the same end as Rome did because of these issues.
The answer was full of the same arrogance that plagued Rome and all successful civilizations. He said no we wouldn't fall because we were more developed and would learn from their mistakes etc...
Pride goes before a fall and there are none so blind as those who will not see. Our gods of reason, progress, science, and philosophy may be more polished than the carved images of ancient Assyria or even mighty Babylon but they are no less useless. There is only One who has stood the test of time. Only One who predicted with pinpoint accuracy the rise and fall of those ancient empires. Who but He declares the end from the beginning. Who but He remains after the latest human ideas and prognostications have faded onto the trash pile of history?
The best part is not that He is always right. The best part is that love is His only motive and that He is relentlessly in love with us. And who is us?
All the nations. From everywhere. East, west, north, south. For God so loved that He gave His only Son that whosoever... Every nation, kindred, tongue, and people...