God CARRIES us from CRADLE to GRAVE! - "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike?" (Isaiah 46:3-5)
In Isaiah 46, there is a vivid picture of the siege of Babylon and the evacuation of its idols. The carriages are creaking under the weight of the idols and the animals are groaning under the load (v. 1). In contrast, God carries His children from birth (v. 3) to the old age (v. 4). Thus, Isaiah 46 has two major contrasts: idols, which must be supported as opposed to Yahweh, who supports Israel (vv. 1-7).
The idols of Babylon, Bel and Nebo, are being carted away by the Persians. As the weary beasts plod on, the idols topple. The gods they represent cannot save the load; instead they are carried off into captivity. In contrast to the idols which are carried by the people, the true God will carry His people even to their old age. We are here told that the false gods will certainly fail their worshippers when they have most need of them (v. 1, 2) and that the true God will never fail his worshippers (v. 3, 4).
There are two kinds of gods in this world: the idols we carry and the One God who carries us! Let us understand that an idol is a substitute for God, something that we value and serve other than God. We trust it and sacrifice for it; but in the end, it can do us no good. Isaiah mocked the idols of the nations and affirmed repeatedly that Jehovah was the only true and living God (40:18–20; 41:5–7; 44:9–20; 45:15–21; 46:1–7). Martin Luther said that “all such as rely and depend upon their art, wisdom, strength, sanctity, riches, honor, power, or anything else are guilty of worshiping idols.”
The idea in this passage is that all the idols that we trust and serve passionately will one day fall before the Lord. The rhetorical question is that to whom can we liken God? The obvious answer—no one! There is no one like the God we serve. Yahweh is the unique and incomprehensible God. It is this great God who has promised to carry us from cradle to grave! Let us put our faith and trust in Him alone for He alone will carry us from our cradle to our grave!
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut 33:27)
"But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God." (Psalms 22:9-10)
"For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of You." (Psalms 71:5-6)