The Lord vs false gods

Who do you trust — the Lord or the false gods of the earth? From the beginning of time, the devil has been tempting people to trust in philosophies, systems and objects that are in opposition to the clear Word of God. It was true in the garden of Eden. It was true in the time of Jesus. It is true today.

People today worship humanism (intellect), hedonism (pleasure), and materialism (possessions). Other people revere money, power and control above all things. And the religions of the world declare the validity of their gods.

the situation

Isaiah was facing a difficult situation in 700 BC. The nations of Assyria and Babylon were poised to conquer Jerusalem and all of Israel. The people of Israel refused to admit that their sin was the root cause of their inevitable destruction. The Lord had warned them that they would be conquered as an earthly consequence for their sin.

Rather than recognize that the Lord was the all-powerful controller of human events, the children of Israel were tempted to believe what the Assyrians and Babylonians believed. Those nations believed that the reason for their victories were that their gods were stronger that Yahweh, the God of Israel.

Speaking through Isaiah the prophet, the Lord calls the false gods of the nations to stand before him:

“Submit your case,” says the LORD. “Present your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. (Isaiah 41:21)

the evidence

The Lord asked for a presentation of the evidence to display to everyone who the true God is. He asked questions related to prophecy: Who accurately predicted the future? He asked questions related to history: Who raised up the kings that led armies to victory? He asked questions related to actionCan you do anything? He asked questions related to the future: Who knows what will happen next? 

Examine the evidence in the verses below:

22 “Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on them and know the outcome, or tell us the future. 23 Tell us the coming events, then we will know that you are gods. Indeed, do something good or bad, then we will be in awe and perceive. 24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable.
 
25 “I have raised up one from the north, and he has come, one from the east who invokes My name. He will march over rulers as if they were mud, like a potter who treads the clay. 26 Who told about this from the beginning, so that we might know, and from times past, so that we might say: He is right? No one announced it, no one told it, no one heard your words. 27 I was the first to say to Zion: Look! Here they are! And I gave a herald of good news to Jerusalem. 28 When I look, there is no one; there is no counselor among them; when I ask them, they have nothing to say. 29 Look, all of them are a delusion; their works are nonexistent; their images are wind and emptiness. (Isaiah 41:22-29) 
_______

The Lord prophesied of past events with 100% accuracy. The Lord raised up the kings who won victories for their nations to fulfill the His sovereign purposes. And He brought them down at their appointed times. The Lord acted in history through people and nations, and through natural and supernatural events. And through the lens of more than 2500 years of time since Isaiah lived, we can clearly see that the Lord’s predictions of the future were right on target.

the choice

The choice is clear. Trust in the Lord God. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign God of all the nations. False gods have no answers. False gods have no true power. False gods are ultimately worthless. The Lord says this about the false gods:

Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable. (Isaiah 41:24)

The best news that the Lord shares is the good news that took place on Mount Zion (Jerusalem). Jesus died on that hill and was raised from the dead to offer forgiveness, salvation and eternal life to all who will put their trust in Him. A verse in Isaiah chapter forty-one hints about the work that Jesus was going to do on Mount Zion:

I was the first to say to Zion: Look! Here they are! And I gave a herald of good news to Jerusalem. (Isaiah 41:27) 

The Lord displayed His power over the false gods in Moses’ day. He displayed His power over false gods in Elijah’s day. He proved it again through Jesus the Christ. Trust in the Lord. He is the one true and living God.

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