God’s Challenge to The Idols

Consider these famous predictions that underestimated the incredible power of vision: · Ken Olson, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation said in 1977, “There is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home.” · … More


We find a beautiful picture of God’s provision of water to abundantly supply the need of His people (vv 17-20). Because of this supply, He will also plant trees in this desert when normally these varieties will grow only in fertile areas. Having promised to bless His people, Israel, the Lord next challenges the gods of the heathen nations (vv. 21-29).  He challenges them to predict the future and explain the meaning of the past. However, they can do neither, because they are not gods at all.

The end of this chapter is the picture of a courtroom. The inability of these idols to tell the future shows that their gods are ineffective and worthless. In contrast to these idols, which are man-made and unable to help people, God can and does tell the future (vv. 21-24). He predicted that a strong leader would come from the north and from the east (the rising sun), who would destroy many nations (vv. 25-29). Most commentators would agree that this refers to Cyrus, although he is not named here. He was from the east (Persia was east of Israel) and also from the north (many of his conquests extended to the north of Israel). Only God could predict something like this. This is a proof that the Lord is the true God and all idols are false gods. Those who believe in such idols have an empty faith and offer no more help than the wind which confuse peoples’ minds (v. 29).


When I am tempted to put my trust in something other than the living God, such as money, career, or family, I should ask: Will it provide what I am really looking for? Only God can be trusted!

Isaiah 41:17-29 (English Standard Version)

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