Isaiah Chapter 45 – “I am the Lord”
One of the main headlines of our news cycle these past few days is the eroding relationship between our current administration and the recently reelected government of Israel. Our president was quoted yesterday – “This can’t be reduced to a matter of somehow let’s hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya.’”
But that may be the least of things to be concerned about – the Islamic State is spreading throughout the middle east, Iran backed rebels have taken over Yemen, it looks as though Iran will be able to keep most of their nuclear program (which will lead to a weapon), and Russia is sending threatening signals to NATO.
Looking at all of these events as a whole, one has to wonder – “What in the world is going on? Who’s in control here?”
Isaiah chapter 45 answers that question:
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held — To subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’” (Isaiah 45:1-7)
Isaiah chapter 45 is one of the most remarkable passaged in the bible, as it confirmations that God is truly the God of history.
In this chapter, Isaiah gives an amazing prediction, already historically fulfilled, of the coming of Cyrus the Great of Persia, the conqueror of Babylon. Isaiah had already foreseen and described the threat of Babylon, that great empire of the ancient world, even though Babylon had not yet come into prominence as a world power. Yet here God names Babylon’s successor:
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held — To subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings…”
Isaiah is describing the rise of the Persian Empire and it’s leader, Cyrus the Great, who would conquer Babylon. Cyrus is identified by name, 150 years before his birth!
“To open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut…”
This is a reference to the gates of the city of Babylon. Cyrus conquered the city by diverting the Euphrates River, which flowed under the gates protecting the city, so that his army marched into the city in the dry river bed.
“I have named you, though you have not known Me.”
This is where the prophecy get cool to me… the declaration that God is in control, whether men know it or not! God guides the hands of these world rulers and empires, and they ultimately do the Lord’s bidding, even though they do not recognize it.
What an encouragement this should to be to us! As we look at the events that are surrounding us, even though they may seem turbulent and chaotic, God is in control! What looks like chaos to man is God orchestrating events to His planned end.
We may not like the rulers of Iran, or Russia, or even our own country for that matter, but we can take comfort in this: God is in control.
“I am the Lord, and there is no other…”