Isa 44.1-28 tells us about how God comforts his people who are afflicted with his promises of blessing. It also goes on to describe idols and these verses allude to the Abomination of Desolation. Israel is forgiven of their sins and the chapter ends with the greatness of God in contrast to idols previously mentioned.
v 1…”But now, listen, O Jacob my servant (alludes to the physical), and Israel (alludes to the spiritual), whom I have chosen (elected):
v 2…Thus says Yehovah who made you and formed you (fashioned) from the womb, who will help you, “Do not fear, O Jacob my servant; and you Yeshurun (Israel-Deut 32.15-a term of endearment Yehovah uses for Israel) whom I have chosen.”
v 3…For I will pour out water to a thirsty land (spiritually-John 3.5, 7.37-39; Matt 5.6) and streams on dry ground; I will pour out my spirit on your offspring (seed spiritually).
v 4…And they will spring up among the grass (the land) like poplars (willows-believers are seen as trees-Psa 91.3; Isa 61.3).
v 5…This one will say, “I am the Lord’s (proudly); and that one will call by the name of Jacob (as a descendant of Jacob); and another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’ and will name Israel’s name with honor (a true praise-Rom 2.29).
v 6…Thus says the Lord, the king of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot or armies): ‘I am the first and I am the last (alludes to the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, and the last letter, Tav. Together this has a meaning “head of the covenant”), there is no God besides me.
v 7…And who is like me (among the false gods)? Let him proclaim and declare it (come forward); yes, let him recount to me in order (an orderly account of all of God’s plans), from the time that I established the ancient nation (through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). And let them declare to them the things that are coming (the future) and the events that are going to take place-Lam 3.37; Amos 3.6).
v 8…Do not tremble and do not be afraid (at the prophecies); have I not long since announced it to you and declared it (what is going to happen)? And you (Israel) are my witnesses (their role in the world-Deut 4.1-8). Is there any God besides me (just false ones), or is there any rock (Deut 32.4)? I know of none (if Yehovah is all-knowing, then there is no other God).'”
Isa 44.9-20 are not only ab out idols in general, but Abomination of Desolation passages.
v 9…Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile (vanity), and their precious things (the idol they take such pride in) are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame (remember, the Abomination of Desolation passages are going to be part of the message of the “Voice” of Isa 40.6).
v10…Who has fashioned a god (“el”-a power) or cast an idol to no profit (can’t help the worshiper)?
v 11…Behold (take note of), all his companions (in the idol-making business) will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men (so how can they make a god). Let them all assemble themselves (in court), let them stand up (to give testimony), let them tremble, let them together be put to shame (exposed before witnesses).
v 12…The man shapes iron into a cutting tool, and does his work over the coals, fashioning it (the idol) with hammers, and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary (he is so serious about this he neglects food and water).
v 13…Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house (or stand in the Temple-Matt 24.15-God is spirit and an idol can only be made in man’s image, and forbidden-Deut 4.15-19. The real Messiah had no beauty-Isa 53.2; Hab 2.18).
v 14…Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow (a long wait in order to have the best wood).
v 15…Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to break bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes a graven image and falls down before it (all of this out of the same tree).
v 16…Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.”
v 17…But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for thou art my god (notice he calls this idol “god”).
v 18…They do not know, nor do they understand, for He (Yehovah) has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend (delusional, and they are blinded by God-Matt 11.25; 2 Thes 2.11; 2 Cor 4.4; Matt 10.25; Isa 44.20).
v 19…And no one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, and also have baked bread over its coals. I also roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination (notice the idol is called an abomination), I fall down before a block of wood!”
v 20…He feeds on ashes; a deceived (and delusional) heart has turned him aside. He cannot deliver himself, nor say,” Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
Isa 44.21-28 talks about the greatness of God again and Israel his servant.
v 21…”Remember (and don’t be like them) these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant (and not serving a tree stump); I have formed you, you are my servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me (and Deut 4.1-8 is the task),
v 22…I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist (Yehovah did this before Yeshua and the cross by emunah-Isa 43.25; Jer 31.34; Psa 103.10-12). Return to me, for I have redeemed you (these are Yom Kippur terms).”
v 23…Shout for joy, O heavens (plural because there are three-2 Cor 12.2), for the Lord has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth (everything beneath the heavens); break forth in into a shout of joy, you mountains (that which protrudes out of the land), O forest, and every tree in it; for the Lord has redeemed Jacob (Luke 2.13) and in Israel he shows forth his glory (This is not only about the redemption from the Babylonian captivity, but also about the Messianic redemption).
v 24…Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord (Yehovah), am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by myself, and spreading out the earth all alone (no help because he is the only one who could do it),
v 25…Causing the omens of boasters to fail (oracles of the nations), making fools out of diviners, causing wise men to draw back (with shame because their predictions are wrong), and turning their knowledge into foolishness,
v 26…Confirming the word of his servant, and performing the purpose of his messengers (by establishing the word of the prophets). It is I who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited!’ And of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built.’ And I will raise up her ruins again (and none of this will fail).
v 27…It is I who says to the depth of the sea, ‘Be dried up (to show his power)!’ And I will make your rivers dry (to serve his purpose as was done with the Euphrates in Jer 51.36. Cyrus dried up the river to a lake ten miles away and the canals at Babylon went dry).
v 28…It is I who says of Cyrus (Hebrew “Koresh” meaning “possessor of the furnace” or sun god), ‘He is my shepherd (this is nearly 2000 years before Cyrus was born. He will lead the Jewish people out of the Babylonian captivity)! And he will perform all my desire (this will also be true of the Messiah).’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ And of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid (this is a double reference prophecy about Yeshua and the Messianic Temple in Ezek 40 through 48).'”