Isaiah 44:6-8 – The faithful believe in the one true God. There is no god but Him. It could be that Isaiah in these words is recalling a song of Moses, which describes God as “the Rock” (see Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 30-31). This metaphor of the Lord is also common in the book of Psalms (see Psalm 18:2).
The Lord declares, “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no other god.” V. 6b In short, there is no other viable object of worship. There is no other source of life. There is no other King. There is no other Redeemer. There is no other Lord of hosts. “You shall have no other gods before me” declares the Lord. –See Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7
It is easy for us to become distracted placing our focus on family, career, our health, acquiring wealth, status, leisure. Yet these will not last and can only provide temporary satisfaction.
Our Lord; the King, Redeemer, and Lord of hosts -- the beginning and the end -- directs our attention and our devotion away from empty things, and empty pursuits back toward the only one who saves, back toward the only source of life. “I am the first and I am the last, besides me there is no god … Fear not, and do not be afraid.”
As our Lord has taught us, the first commandment is the most important one; everything stands or falls with it. The Psalmist directs our focus back to the Lord in verse 8; "Is there any god besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one."
Luther explains in the Catechism concerning the first commandment. We should fear love and trust in God above all things. Trust not in princes they are but mortal. Rather, place your confidence in Christ your Savior.
Lord Jesus Christ whose grace always proceeds and follows us, help us to forsake all trust in earthly gain and find in you our heavenly treasure; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit; one God now and forever.
Collect for Proper 23 Series B, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis