“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: 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 will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:3-4).
Following the pronouncement of God’s judgment against them and the surrounding nations (Isaiah chapters1-39), God has Isaiah comfort His people (Isaiah 40:1). Isaiah will comfort God’s people by speaking to them about the Messiah to come. He also consoles them by reminding them of God’s redemption of them. Furthermore, as the opening verses above show, in comforting God’s people, Isaiah reminds them of God’s care for them and how He had “carried” them (Isaiah 46:3-4).
It is ironic how God describes the foolishness of His people who had engaged in idol worship. They had worshipped idols which they had to “carry”. Instead of the idol god helping them or “carrying” them through challenges they faced in life, God’s people had to literally “carry” their idol which was completely helpless to assist them: “To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. They bear it on the shoulder, 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” (Isaiah 46:5-8).
Before we too quickly judge Israel for their foolishness in carrying their gods, each of us should ask ourselves, “Do I try to carry God?” In other words, do I rely on my strength or on God’s strength? Do I rely on my good works and my ability to do everything perfectly right or do I place my faith in God, trusting in His power to pick me up when I repent after falling into sin, and obey His Will out of a whole-hearted expression of my love to Him (John 14:15)? Let’s not be guilty of trying to “carry” God.
When my children were little, I used to carry them on my shoulders or on my back as they rode on me like a horse. It was relatively easy to bear their light weight at that age. However, it would be very difficult to bear a full grown adult. Yet, in the opening passage above, God says He had carried Israel from the “womb” even to “old age” and the times of “gray hairs” (Isaiah 46:3-4). God carries us through our whole lives from the day we exit the womb of our mothers to the day we enter the grave.
Many of us remember the song made popular by The Hollies: “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”. It is a beautiful song about carrying a friend or brother through hard times. As I think about these verses in Isaiah about God’s carrying us, that song comes to my mind. God carries us through times in our lives when the load is too heavy for us to bear alone, when we have been weakened through trials and need help to shoulder the load, and even when, because of our own foolishness, we have gotten ourselves into a lot of trouble and are now burdened by our own weight of sin which we created. God carries us during such times. He does not find us to be a burden. He carries us because He loves us. He says to us, “You Ain’t Heavy. Your My Child!”
Today, I rejoice knowing that God carries me! He carries me through my trials that I face. I rejoice that Christ carries the greatest weight of all. He carries a weight that was far too heavy for me to bear, the weight of my sin!
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).