God comforteth the Church with his promises.
Isaiah 44:1 So heare nowe O Iacob my seruaunt, and Israel whom I haue chosen. Isaiah 44:2 For thus saith the Lorde that made thee, fassioned thee, and helped thee euen from thy mothers wombe: Be not afraide O Iacob my seruaunt, thou righteous whom I haue chosen: Isaiah 44:3 For I shall powre water vpon the drye grounde, and riuers vpon the thirstie: I shall powre my spirite vpon thy seede, and my blessing vpon thy stocke: Isaiah 44:4 They shall growe together lyke as the grasse, and as the willowes by the waters side. Isaiah 44:5 One shal say, I am the Lordes: another shall call hym selfe after the name of Iacob: the thirde shall subscribe with his hande vnto the Lorde, and geue hym selfe vnder the name of Israel. Isaiah 44:6 Thus hath the Lorde spoken, euen the kyng of Israel, and his redeemer the Lorde of hoastes: I am the first and the last, and besides me there is no God.
The vanity of idols,
Isaiah 44:7 If any be like me, let hym call foorth the thing past, and openly shewe it, and lay it playne before me, what hath chaunced since I appointed the people of the worlde, and what shalbe shortly, or what shal come to passe [in tyme long to come] let them shewe these thinges? Isaiah 44:8 Be not abashed nor afraide: for haue not I euer tolde you hitherto and warned you? ye can beare me recorde your selues: is there any God except me, or any maker, that I should not know hym?
and folly of idol makers.
Isaiah 44:9 All caruers of images are but vayne, and the carued images that they loue can do no good: they must beare recorde them selues, that seeing they can neither see nor vnderstande, they shalbe confounded. Isaiah 44:10 Who dare then make a god, or fashion an image that is profitable for nothing? Isaiah 44:11 Beholde, all the felowship of them must be brought to confusion, & truely all the workemasters of them are men: they shal all be gathered together, they shall stand, tremble, and be confounded one with another. Isaiah 44:12 The smith maketh an axe, and tempereth it with hotte coales, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with all the strength of his armes, yea sometime he is fainte for very hunger, and so thirstie that he hath no more power. Isaiah 44:13 The carpenter or image caruer taketh measure of the timber, and spreadeth foorth his line, he marketh it with some colour, he playneth it, he ruleth it, and squareth it, and maketh it after the image of a man, and according to the beautie of a man, that it may stande in the house. Isaiah 44:14 Moreouer, he goeth out to hewe Cedar trees, he bringeth home Elmes and Okes, and taking a bolde courage, he seeketh out the best timber of the wood: he him selfe hath planted a Pine tree, whiche the rayne hath swelled, Isaiah 44:15 Which wood serueth for men to burne: Of this he taketh and warmeth hym selfe withall, he maketh a fire of it to bakebread, and maketh also a god therof to honour it, and a grauen image to kneele before it. Isaiah 44:16 One peece he burneth in the fire, with another he rosteth fleshe, that he may eate roste his belly full: with the thirde he warmeth him selfe, and saith, Aha, I am well warmed, I haue ben at the fire. Isaiah 44:17 And of the residue he maketh hym a god, and grauen image for him selfe: he kneeleth before it, he worshippeth it, he prayeth vnto it, and saith, Deliuer me, for thou art my god. Isaiah 44:18 Yet men neither consider nor vnderstande, because their eyes be stopped that they can not see, and their heartes that they can not perceaue. Isaiah 44:19 They ponder not in their mindes, for they haue neither knowledge nor vnderstanding to thinke thus: I haue brent one peece in the fire, I haue baked bread with the coales thereof, I haue rosted fleshe withall, and eaten it: and I wyll nowe of the residue make an abhominable idoll, and fall downe before a rotten peece of wood. Isaiah 44:20 Thus doth he but lose his labour, and his heart whiche is deceaued doth turne hym aside, so that none of them can haue a free conscience to thinke, Do not I erre?
He exhorteth to praise God for his redemption and omnipotency.
Isaiah 44:21 Consider this O Iacob and Israel, for thou art my seruaunt: I made thee that thou mightest serue me, O Israel forget me not. Isaiah 44:22 As for thyne offences I haue driuen them away lyke the cloudes, and thy sinnes as the mist: Turne thee agayne vnto me, for I haue redeemed thee. Isaiah 44:23 Be glad ye heauens, for the Lorde hath dealt graciously with his people, let all that is here beneath vpon the earth be ioyfull: reioyce ye mountaines and woods, with all the trees thereof, for the Lorde hath redeemed Iacob, and wyll shewe his glory vpon Israel. Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the Lorde thy redeemer, euen he that fassioned thee from thy mothers wombe: I the Lorde do all thinges my selfe alone, I only spreade out the heauens, and I only haue laide abrode the earth by my owne selfe. Isaiah 44:25 I destroy the tokens of witches, and make the soothsayers fooles: As for the wise I turne them backwarde, and make their cunning foolishnesse. Isaiah 44:26 He doth set vp the purpose of his seruaunt, and fulfilleth the counsaile of his messengers concerning Hierusalem, he saith it shalbe inhabited, and of the cities of Iuda they shalbe buylded againe, and I will repayre their decayed places. Isaiah 44:27 He saith to the deapth, be drye, and I wyll drye vp water fluddes. Isaiah 44:28 He saith of Cyrus, he is my heardman, so that he shall fulfill all thinges after my wyll: He saith also of Herusalem, it shalbe buylded, and of the temple, it shalbe fast grounded.