The lifter of burdens: Isaiah 46.1–9 (13 June 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.


Daily reflection: Isaiah 46

Isaiah's prophecies are treasure troves for preachers. In this chapter, he compares the gods of Babylon to the LORD; they cannot save, he says, but God does. But it's his vivid illustration of their helplessness that brings his thought to life. The images of Bel and Nebo, Babylon's gods, are carried by beasts of burden. They're so heavy that they weary the animals that bear them, but they're so ineffectual that can't even lighten their own load (verses 1–2). But the God of Israel isn't carried: he carries. His people have been 'borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to grey hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save' (verses 3–4, ESV).

What are the 'gods' we create today? Isaiah might say that it's anything we put our trust in rather than the LORD. Family, career, money, a political creed or ideology – we can imagine they are carrying us, while really we are carrying them. Sometimes the church itself, with its traditions and demands, becomes an idol, and the burden is too heavy for us to bear.

God doesn't work like that. He isn't a burden; he lifts burdens. 'I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me' he says (verse 9).



God, thank you for lightening my load. Show me the burdens I'm carrying that I could lay down, and help me to trust only in you.

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