Verse 1 – Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; their idols were on the beasts and on the cattle. Your carriages were heavily loaded, a burden to the weary beast.
A contrast is drawn in these verses between idols that had to be carried and God who carried the burdens of His people. Bel was probably the chief god of Babylon. Nebo is the Hebrew name for Na-bu, and he was their (Babylonians) god of wisdom, the god of scribes.
Verse 2 – They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity.
Verse 3 – “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb:
Verse 4 – Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and I will deliver you.
In Isaiah and in Matthew, people are given an open invitation to give their burdens to the Lord: Matthew 11:28 – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. It’s hard work to carry the weight of so many burdens, they will weigh us down to the point of not being able to stand. We are to lay them at the Masters feet in exchange for His rest!
verse 5 – “To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike?
Verse 6 – They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they prostrate themselves, yes, they worship.
Verse 7 – They bear it on their shoulders, they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; from its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble.
Verse 8 – “Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors.
Verse 9 – Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,
Verse 10 – declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,
God is unique in His knowledge and in His control of the future. He is consistent and He is faithful in carrying out His plan. He knows how and when everything ends. He knows the plans He has for each one of us.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (verse 12) Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. (verse 13) And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Verse 11 – Calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass I have purposed it; I will also do it.
Israel was the bird of prey and Cyrus the King of Persia, a country east of Israel.
Verse 12 – “Listen to Me, you stubborn – hearted, who are far from righteousness:
Verse 13 – I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.”
Israel had been stubborn and rebellious against God, but God was showing them His truth and righteousness. Notice: It didn’t seem to matter how rebellious against God they had been, He was following through with His plan to show mercy and bring salvation to Zion (Jerusalem) for His glory!