Thank you for your comments! I read the chapter and it seems to me like God is doing a comparison between Himself and Bel and Nebo.
1. God carries himself!
Bel and Nebo were two Babylonian gods. They were handmade, mounted by men and taken down by men. The beginning of verse 1 states,
“Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;”
The New Living Translation puts the verse like so:
“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.”
These Babylonian gods had to be carried around with the people. Like you would have to do to dismount a huge statue, I imagine long ropes would have been used to pull down the gods from their places. The idols would have to come to a “stooping” or “bowing”position to be lowered and placed on beasts that would then carry them to the desired destination. I imagine that these idols were very heavy and would have put a heavy burden on the animal carrying them.
In the verse, God was saying that the gods that these people worshipped and trusted to relieve them of their burdens were themselves cripples and heavy burdens. Human hands made them, carried them and bore their burdens but God was saying, “I carry myself, thank you very much!”( Haha!)
2. God lifts your burdens! (and He doesn’t bow)
Verse 2 goes on to say:
“They stoop; they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go in captivity” (ESV)
Again, God emphasizes that Bel and Nebo themselves have to bow when they are being dismounted. They are loaded unto the animals but cannot do anything to save the poor animals from their weight. Instead, they are carried away into captivity, subject to the porters’ (both human and animal) wills. God is saying, “These God can’t save themselves, they bow! Well, I don’t and Guess what? I don’t weigh you down, I lift you up!” (Matthew 11:28-29 come to mind)
“Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (ESV).
3. God carries you! Don’t be deceived by what you see. Verse 3 says:
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel,who have been borne by me from beforeyour birth, carried from the womb;”
God is calling his people, “Listen to me. It’s really easy to lump me with these other gods - Nebo and Bel - but I’M NOT LIKE THEM! I have thought about you even before you came into the world. I have known you. I have loved you and I still do” (See Jeremiah 1:5). God carries you! He promises that when you walk through the waters,
He will be with you and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you, and when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you (Isaiah 43:2).
4. God made you!
Verse 3 says that God made you. He’s calling out to those “who have been born by him”. Read John Chapter 1! Verse 12 clearly states that God has given all those who believe in the name of Jesus the right to become the sons of God, children born of the will of God, your new Father! God created you, He loves you and He has called you! :)
5. God will always save you! (And you’re never too old to be saved)Verse 4 says:
“Even to your old ageI am he, and to gray hairsI will carry you.I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and I will save.”
God is again restating his concern for you. He has made you and He carried you even before you were born. He’s also reminding you that as a responsible Father, he will carry you, even till your old age. You never grow too old for his care!
He will carry you, He will save you because He made you!
God loves you!
-Child of Promise