Isaiah 46:1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts
"Bel is another name for Marduk, [Bablon's] chief divinity, and Nebo, originally the city-god of Borsippa, a few miles from Babylon, was worshiped as his son. Together they were 'the Jupiter and Mercury of the Babylonian pantheon,' the supreme divinities of the empire in our prophet's time. Their huge statues, often studded with jewels, were borne about on floats drawn by oxen or mules. The prophet may have seen them in a magnificent New Year's pageant. Now, thinking of the city's proximate capture, he pictures its inhabitants vainly attempting to cart off their sacred idols to some place of safety, finding themselves thwarted and their cherished images carried away as loot." (The Interpreter's Bible, ed. by G. A. Buttrick et al [New York, Abingdon Press, 1952] vol. 5, p. 535-536)
Isaiah 46:4 I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you
Does man make God or does God make man? Should man be stronger than God or should God be stronger than man? Should man or God have greater carrying capacity? The questions are ridiculous, but so is the practice of making a god and then worshipping it. The Lord will carry us if we will let him. Instead, sometimes we burden ourselves with our idolatry, when the Lord has promised, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-30)
One night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life. This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way, but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why in times when I needed you most, you should leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child. I love you and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
Isaiah 46:5 To whom will ye liken me?
"I had the privilege of knowing and being influenced by many great people during my childhood-but I especially appreciated the influence of my mother. She profoundly influenced me and in doing so taught me a great deal about God. I did not love and follow her because she held a position of authority over me but because of the kind of person she was. If her authority had disappeared, I still would have followed her.
"That is the way I feel about God. Of course, worshipping him, and him only, is obedience to his commandment: 'I am the Lord thy God. ... Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' (Ex. 20:2-3.) I do not worship him, however, only because of the commandment. I listen to his counsel, follow him, love him, trust him, and place no other gods before him, not only because he is God, but also because he is God, my perfectly loving and all-wise Father.
"Anyone who studies the Old Testament soon realizes this is the reason for the first commandment. 'To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?' the Lord asks. (Isa. 46:5.) The Old Testament Saints followed God not only because he was God but because there was no other god like him. Hannah praised the Lord with these words: 'There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.' (1 Sam. 2:2.)...
"We can worship the gods of the world and bear them like a burden, or we can be lifted and carried by the Lord from birth to the grave.
"The portrait of God I have painted is a very personal one. It is an incomplete portrait, for I have barely touched upon the many perfections in his character... Real understanding began for me when I became a father myself and became more aware of the purposes for this life and of its intended trials and tests. God desires children who are like him, reflecting all his perfections. What is God like? He is full of mercy, compassion, empathy, and charity. He works for his children's happiness. He serves and forgives. To become like him, we, too, must acquire these traits." (S. Michael Wilcox, "No Other Gods before Me," Ensign, Jan. 1994, 22, 27)
Isaiah 46:9 I am God, and there is none like me
Neal A. Maxwell
I testify that He is utterly incomparable in what He is, what He knows, what He has accomplished, and what He has experienced. Yet, movingly, He calls us His friends. (See John 15:15.)
We can trust, worship, and ever adore Him without any reservation! As the only Perfect Person to sojourn on this planet, there is none like Him! (See Isa. 46:9.)
In intelligence and performance, He far surpasses the individual and the composite capacities and achievements of all who have lived, live now, and will yet live! (See Abr. 3:19.)
He rejoices in our genuine goodness and achievement, but any assessment of where we stand in relation to Him tells us that we do not stand at all! We kneel! (Ensign, Nov. 1981, 8)
Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning
I like the words of the apostle Peter. He said:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pet. 1:19-21.)
That being true, we have a more sure word of prophecy that makes the Bible to me like a blueprint where the Lord has outlined everything from the war in heaven up till the final winding-up scenes when we will have a new heaven and a new earth. I think that is what Isaiah meant when he said that the Lord has declared the end from the beginning. (See Isa. 46:10.) ("Prophecy," Ensign, May 1974, 116)
Now I ask you here today, do you believe all that the prophets have spoken? And if you do, you realize what Isaiah said: that the Lord has declared "the end from the beginning." (Isa. 46:10.)
It's all in the holy scriptures, and of all the great events of the history of the world, as far as the prophets have foretold, the greatest is the preparation for the coming of the Savior in the latter days, when He will come in power and great glory, with all the holy angels, as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Ensign, May 1977, 62)