Lesson 34: God’s That Fail and the Collapse of Their Cultures (Isaiah 46:1-47:15)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 46:1-47:15. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.


  1. Read through Isaiah 46:1-47:15.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?


If you need reminding of just who is in control over history and the nations, read Isaiah 47 and 47! Isaiah opens chapter 46 by calling out two Babylonian gods as idols. In short, Bel (Marduk) was Babylon’s chief god. According to the encyclopedia Britannica, “All nature, including humanity, owed its existence to him; the destiny of kingdoms and subjects was in his hands.” Nabo was the god of writing, learning, prophecies, and wisdom.

  1. Read Isaiah 46.
    1. What does God say about these Babylonian gods?
    2. What does God say about Himself?
  2. Isaiah 47 speaks of the future downfall of Babylon at the hands of Cyrus. As you read, think about the following:
    1. How did God use the kingdom of Babylon in the life of Israel (v.6)?
    2. For what purpose is God calling Cyrus (v. 3)? Why?
    3. How does Babylon view itself and how has Babylon treated God and Israel?
    4. Worship of anything other than God will lead to destruction for both nations as well as individuals. What idols does our culture worship? What are the effects?
    5. What idols do you worship? How is that affecting you? (Remember 1 John 1:9!)

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

  • Read chapter 34, God’s That Fail and the Collapse of Their Cultures (Isaiah 46:1-47:15)” in Isaiah: God Saves Sinners or listen to Ray Ortlund’s sermon series on line. (Most of the sermons correspond to the chapters in his book.)
  • Listen to the sermon(s) from Pastor Liam Goligher’s sermon series on Isaiah that go along with this week’s reading.

“…Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.”

~ Isaiah 43:10b-11 ~