Today: [Isaiah 45] God Knows the End from the Beginning. In this chapter Isaiah predicts events over a 100 years in advance, even naming Cyrus by name who has yet to come on the scene of world events. Scholars take this as proof that Isaiah could not have written these things as supposed. The suggestion is that a later writer penned these words after the things “predicted” had already taken place. This is a conclusion even “Christian” scholarship maintains because they absolutely reject the idea of prophetic foreknowledge or divine intervention of the hand of God in world events. Nonetheless the declaration here in our chapter is given by God that if asked He will reveal to us things to come that we might align ourselves with His will and pray that His will would be done “as in earth – so in heaven”.
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[Isa 45:1-25 KJV] 1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; 2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call [thee] by thy name, [am] the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. 5 I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things]. 8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! [Let] the potsherd [strive] with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10 Woe unto him that saith unto [his] father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
In this chapter Isaiah, decades before Cyrus came on the scene, identifies him by name as a conqueror who will deliver Judah from the captivity of Babylon which likewise hasn’t taken place yet at the time of Isaiah’s writing. Scholars read this and insist that there is no way this could have been written before the time of the captivity as the text and the prophet suggest. Their contention is it is too accurate and since the theologians and scholars of our day reject inspiration and prophetic insight they make the assumption then that all of this was written after Cyrus’ time rather than before. This shows you the deep seated unbelief in the ranks of religious scholars who teach young seminarians in our Christian university and colleges. Because of this when you read in the margins of your bible references to dates, realize that the dates scholars often set for the writings of prophets such as this are done so with the underlying premise that prophecy is rejected and divine inspiration is not the belief of many, if not most scholars who believe they are more qualified to understand scripture than the average reader such as you or I.
The mention of Cyrus is a double reference with declarations attributed as applying to him taking into account the coming of the Messiah who will deliver us not just from a human enemy but from the vanity of sin itself.
11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. 12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, [even] my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. 13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts. 14 Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, [saying], Surely God [is] in thee; and [there is] none else, [there is] no God. 15 Verily thou [art] a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. 16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together [that are] makers of idols. 17 [But] Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
As though anticipating the skepticism of ungodly man the Lord speaks through Isaiah inviting the people of God to inquire at His hand regarding the things that are to come. Verse 11 is also controversial because of the wording of the translation suggesting that we can command the works of God’s hands. This however is the inference of the prayer that the Lord taught us to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 18:19). This is the essence of prayer. We are not telling God what to do – rather we are returning His will to Him in prayer. We are acknowledging the works of His hands that He has actually foreordained and the making declaration on the earth by our faith filled prayers that this is exactly what will happen because we have asked Him things to come. Those who object to this line of thought suggest that it is arrogant on our part to think we can command God but we are not commanding God, we are aligning ourselves in agreement with His foreordained will revealed through His word and through the prophets, including the prophets that are still speaking today. God’s will is revealed through the annals of His word and also through the subjective, revealed instrumentality of called and anointed prophets that are with us to this day. This is the promise of God and the object is revealed in verse 17 to then end that we would be saved and not in any way be ashamed or confounded world without end in any way. This is the promise of God to every believer. We will not be ashamed nor brought to confusion despite what we see going on around us in world events or in our own lives as long as we do two things: 1.) Ask Him regarding the things to come, and; 2.) Having attained understanding in answer to that petition to pray out His revealed will that it might be done in the earth. Prayer is returning God’s will to Him in prayer.
18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye [that are] escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god [that] cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring [them] near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? [who] hath told it from that time? [have] not I the LORD? and [there is] no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; [there is] none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall [one] say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: [even] to him shall [men] come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
Verse 18 tells us that God created the heavens and did not intend that it should be subject to vanity. God created the earth to be inhabited and enjoyed by His creation. He did not spin the earth into existence and then withdraw to a place of non-concern to allow human events to play out without His intervention. Always remember no matter what you are going through that God is not a far off God and He will never leave you to yourself. He will never withdraw from the affairs of men and He will never choose as a first option to withdraw from the affairs of your life. Verse 19 says that God has not spoken in secret nor planned that Jacob would seek Him in vain. Jacob speaks of that part of ourselves that has yet to put on the mind and the character of Christ. Remember He died for us while we were yet unlovely, even enemies of the cross. Having accepted Him as savior He does not now abandon you in the midst of carnality and failure. He continues to work with you – not ignoring sin, but lovingly working in our lives to bring us to redemption in every area of our need, as we cooperate with Him.
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