The Lord will carry us through
Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon, bow as they are lowered to the ground. They are being hauled away on ox carts. The poor beasts stagger under the weight. Both the idols and their owners are bowed down. The gods cannot protect the people, and the people cannot protect the gods. They go off into captivity together. “Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:1-4 NLT
Bel was the patron-god of Babylon. He is looked up to by the Babylonians as the king of the gods and determines the destinies of people and nations. Nebo was his eldest son, the successor who is responsible in keeping the tablet of destiny. These gods represented the ideals of Babylon and every New Year the carvings representing the images of Bel and Nebo were carried in grand procession through the city. The procession is to call on these gods to provide good fortune for the new year. But what Isaiah see as described from the text is that this procession is exhausting the poor ox carrying the weight of the big, heavy idols through town. He is not amazed by the sight, instead he sees what is obvious; a god that has to be carried cannot carry you. A god who cannot help itself cannot help you. The Babylonian culture did not endure because Bel and Nebo failed them. They were unsustainable and all who cling to such belief are going into painful confinement. They have nothing to offer but disillusionment and tiredness. Isaiah then reminded the Israelites that there was no moment when God is not carrying them. “I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age.” The reality is that God has taken us as His responsibility all the days of our lives. God will see us through in the ups and downs of life. Let us humble ourselves before Him and realize that by His grace, He carries our burdens moment by moment. “I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Hold on to His promise, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22, NIV).