These people were the same ones who had just witnessed Moses parting the Red Sea so they might escape Pharaoh’s army…but their attention span was short, and their loyalties to God fickle as the days wore on with no sight of Moses. So they rejected him as some fly-by-night wannabe and demanded that Aaron make them a replacement god. While still up on the mountain, Moses learned of this when God told him, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made a cast idol for themselves.” (Deuteronomy 9:12) Fast forward to today, and nothing much has changed. We get bored easily, we like our information in sound-bites, and we want God to perform at the snap of our fingers…but He doesn’t work that way! Waiting on the Lord is a faith-building, trust-strengthening, hope-fulfilling endurance race that takes us from marginal Christianity to mighty warrior of God.
Here Isaiah was lumping together any idol crafted by man…whether it was cut, carved, cast, or sculpted. He called them all worthless, or as he wrote in Isaiah 41:24, “Less than nothing.” But sadly from the beginning of time, mankind has coveted with selfish desire idols of their own making rather than worshiping the one true God. And this vanity has only led us to deceptively think we know more than God…which is so far from the truth, or as Isaiah lamented, “They are ignorant to their own shame.” Wow!
Earlier in this Chapter, Isaiah speaks of the power and magnificence of God and how there is no other God besides Him. He then addresses the many idols of Israel…man-made pieces that they have put their trust in rather than God. Finally, in these verses above, Isaiah sarcastically suggests they bring their idols to him so they may be questioned about past and future events in order to somehow legitimize their “godliness”. His sarcasm only continues as he urges these idols to, “Do something, don’t just sit there looking at me!” No man-made idol will ever take the place of God, for no man-made idol has the capacity, authority, dominion, or might as God does.