Who Do You Trust in Difficult Times?
God Is Our Sustainer – Isaiah 46:1-13
In this passage, Isaiah speaks prophetically to the Judean captives who were not even born at the time of the prophet’s death circa 681 BC. In 537 BC the forces of the Persian emperor, Cyrus, were able to defeat Belshazzar and the Babylonians on a night of feasting in their supposedly impregnable capital city. At this time, the prophet foresees the Babylonian gods, Bel and Nebo, (evidently statues fashioned by man’s hands) being carted away into captivity.
These man-made images 1) fashioned of gold and silver by men, 2) possessed no means of movement other than being carried on the shoulders of men or beasts of burden, 3) remained stationary in their places, 4) did not answer prayers, and 5) were non-responsive to those in distress. On the night that the Babylonians were confronted by their enemy, Bel and Nebo proved to be worthless and were carried away as trophies of war.
In contrast to the plight of the Babylonians (no help from the false gods Bel and Nebo) Isaiah portrays the God of Judah as the One who is ever-present with His children. It is stated that God bears His children from birth into their days of old age. God who has no equal declares that He does not change and will deliver those belonging to Him.
In speaking to His children God emphatically states that 1) there is no other god, 2) He alone knows the end from the beginning, 3) His purpose will be established, and 4) His pleasure will be accomplished. God promises the Judean captives that He will send a bird of prey (the eagle - Cyrus’ emblem) to rescue them. In summary, God has simply proclaimed that He sustains and will continue to sustain His children regardless of their present predicament. Likewise, we can trust that “our” God will sustain us regardless of the present pandemic or any other struggle encountered. Placing our trust in the God of creation assures that we can have peace in the midst of stormy and uncertain times.