June 13: Isaiah 45
Deuteronomy 18; Psalm 105; Isaiah 45; Revelation 15
Long before he was ever born, God called Cyrus by name (44:28-45:1). Though Israel will be exiled to Babylon, God will raise up this pagan king to return them home. To what degree does God love His people? He will smooth the way for Cyrus (2) and give him military success to plunder the nations (3) - yet God causes all of this to happen “for the sake of my servant Jacob” (4).
Yes, God previously condemned all idolatry (see prior readings). But now He calls an idolater by name (4) to exercise His saving power before the nations (5-6). How sovereign is God? Light and darkness, peace and calamity, He creates them all (7). The Holocaust? 9-11? Yes, those too. “How can this be?” is an emotional question, not a logical one. The Bible clear: God is God, over all things.
Thus we pray for righteousness to rain down from heaven, not evil (8) - how else could we pray this way, unless He was utterly sovereign? Yet we are not to complain to Him - He is the Creator, not us (9-10).
There is no other God - Isaiah repeats this over and over (21). Thus He calls to all the nations: “Turn to me, and be saved” (22). Because one day every knee will bow to Him (see Phil. 2:10-11) - not a matter of whether, but in which state: either in joyful salvation, or in grievous condemnation. Only in Him do the nations find righteousness and strength (24); only in Him are we justified and glorified (25).