Isaiah 44 - Israel is G-d's Chosen
"So listen now, Jacob My servant, Israel whom I have chosen." - Isaiah 44:1
Even though G-d has punished the Jewish people, He has not rejected them from being His chosen ones. Just like a master chastises his trusted but erring servant, does G-d chastise you with love - not to reject you, but to mend your ways. Even when you were "Jacob," in spiritual decline, G-d did not forsake you, but still said, "You are Mine."
"Thus says G-d, your Maker, your Creator, Who has helped you since birth: Fear not, Jacob My servant, Yeshurun in whom I have chosen." - Isaiah 44:2
I am G-d Who "made"you into the chosen nation, I am He Who helped Jacob at birth (when he grasped the heel of Esav (founder of christianity). So fear not, Jewish people, for I shall always help you in Jacob's merit and in the very merit of being the chosen ISRael, "YeShuRun." Fear not, you are still My servant, for as you have not exchanged Me for a foreign god, I shall not exchange you for a foreign people - you are still My chosen Yeshurun, My "Jacob," whom I chose even before birth.
"One will say, "I am for G-d," and another will call in Jacob's name. One will sign himself over to G-d, (while another) will call himself in Israel's name." - Isaiah 44:5
And G-d's blessings will be specifically for His chosen people, even though other nations may claim the same. Even if they say, "I am for G-d," and call themselves in Jacob's name, even if they commit themselves to G-d in writing and call themselves the new "Israel," G-d's chosen will remain Jacob's physical seed. But there will be those among them who will earnestly convert and proclaim their bodies and souls to G-d. These ones can also be called "Jacob-Israel" and will be added to the ranks of the Israel-born. They will all be gathered together at the End of Days, one by one, each one for his own merit.
"Thus says G-d, the King and Savior of Israel, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last - besides Me there is no god." - Isaiah 44:6
Even though G-d is King of the Universe, He calls Himself only King of Israel. And even though all the heaven's hosts are at His calling, He will redeem you Himself and not through their agency. You can trust in Him, for He has already redeemed you the "first" time from Egypt and will do so the "last" time at the End of Days. Fear not the nations who worship idol gods, for they are naught before the Infinite One.
"For who is like Me that can declare, predict and show to Me from the time I placed men on earth? Who can foretell the signs and things which are to come?" - Isaiah 44:7
For G-d alone can declare that He will change the laws of nature to perform His will, for He thus stipulated at the beginning of time, from the time when "man was on earth." Who, then, can stop Him from redeeming His people, since He has thus decreed at the beginning of time?
"Fear not, do not be shaken, for I have foretold to you long ago and let you know - you are My witnesses! Is there any god besides Me, any power that I have not known?" - Isaiah 44:8
So fear not, Israel, when you suffer in exile, for I have already foretold you what you will go through. I have already told you that your fate is dependent upon your following My ways - you are witnesses to that. So fear not those powers which may seem so great, for it is only I Who made them great. You are My witnesses at Mount Sinai when I showed you that I alone am G-d.
"The manufacturers of idols are naught and their adored are of no use. They are their own witnesses, for they see not and know not - let them be disgraced." - Isaiah 44:9
The idols themselves attest to their impotence, for they neither see or hear - how can they be of help to others? The worshipers themselves can also attest to their uselessness, for the idols never answer their calls. How can they, if they neither see nor hear? Let the makers and worshipers be disgraced.
"Who makes a god or molds an image to no avail?" - Isaiah 44:10
G-d is the Cause of all causes - which idol can make that claim? So how can the idol be a god when it itself has a cause? Is there any greater insanity than to worship the object which you yourself caused? So let them all see, those who worship the idol as divine and those who worship it as a transmitter of divine power, that the idol is of no avail.
"Are not all their friends to be disgraced - are the craftsmen not only human? Let them all gather together and reflect - let them fear and be disgraced together?" - Isaiah 44:11
Let all the idol-makers gather together and see that they are all human - how can they make a god? Let them gather together with the worshipers and reflect upon the social ill - let them face this shame as a society. Let them fear the consequences of what they do.
"Pursuing ash, a foolish heart has misled him! Yet, he does not save his own soul by saying, "My right hand has produced a delusion!" - Isaiah 44:20
It is his own foolish heart which makes mock of him and leads him to make a god out of wood - wood which can be turned into ash! He has not the sense to confront his mistake, to see the falsehood and save his own soul. Even when old and approaching the dust, the "ash," he cannot refrain from his lifelong folly and is unable to admit his mistake.
"Remember this, Jacob and Israel, for you are My servant - I have created you to be my servant! You are Israel - do not forget Me!" - Isaiah 44:21
"I shall erase your sins like a cloud and your transgressions like a mist. Return to Me for I shall redeem you." - Isaiah 44:22
Even your sins shall not stand between us - repent, return to Me and be redeemed. I shall then erase those sins which separated between us like a thin cloud - the unintentional ones - and also those transgressions which separated between us like a thick cloud - the intentional ones.
"Heavens, rejoice, for G-d has accomplished! Shout out loud, depths of the earth! Mountains, break out in song, the forest and all its trees! For G-d has redeemed Jacob and will take pride in Israel." - Isaiah 44:23
When G-d will redeem the Jewish people, the entire world will rejoice. They will all praise the Jewish people for their great wisdom, which itself, will be a praise of G-d. The great influx of abundance which will come in those times will then be further cause to rejoice.
"Thus says G-d, your Redeemer, your Creator in the womb: I am G-d Who made everything, Who stretched out the heavens by Myself, Who spread out the earth on My own." - Isaiah 44:24
I am G-d Who designated you as My people while Jacob was still in Rebecca's womb and chose him over Esav (christianity). I am the One Who designated "nature's" laws - the "heavens and the earth" - and can change them at will to redeem you. I have made everything, including supernatural law, and will use it, if necessary, to redeem you.
"Who foils the signs of soothsayers, and makes fools of diviners; Who confounds the wise and stymies their wisdom." - Isaiah 44:25
Many times G-d has foiled celestial signs, as He did to Haman's lot and to the Babylonians' foretold victory over Persia. Even though they interpreted their signs "wisely," nevertheless, G-d annulled the power behind those signs.
Commentary by Meam Loez