The other day while reading the first chapter of a book by R.C. Sproul called "Holy, Holy, Holy, Praising the Perfections of God", he quoted from Isaiah Chapter 45, verses 1-8. It just blew my mind! Cyrus was called my anointed one! A Gentile King, one who did not know God, and he was still God's anointed. This passage again shows me the sovereignty of God. It shows me how God's hand is over all things, even those who do not proclaim His name are used by him. Nebuchadnezzar was used to discipline God's Children, Cyrus was used to redeem God's child and to restore them back to their land so that prophecy could be fulfilled. I want to take it section by section and point out to you what I saw:
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountains a]">[a] ;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
"so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." How did this make Cyrus feel? When I did my study of Ezekiel I noticed the phrase "then they will know that I am the LORD" over and over again. God has been continually revealing himself to us from the beginning of time. Those who say you cannot know God are lying. He has revealed himself and still is revealing himself! That is why I love the Old Testament so much. My Father God, and all his Holiness is revealed so powerfully!
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.
Now this one for me is a hum dinger! "For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen". On so many levels this is powerful! Just like Nebuchadnezzar was used to punish Israel (See Jeremiah 25:9. Cyrus was to redeem and restore Israel. He was sent to provide the way to get the Israelites back to the Holy Land, where the Christ (the true Anointed one) would be born. One thing I want to point out here is the fact that Israel is God's chosen. Please remember that God is the Covenant keeper. He is Immutable (meaning he cannot change). So Israel is still his chosen. The great thing is "the Church" is now part of his chose people through Christ, but that does not negate the covenant made between God and Abraham. The Jews still are not making decisions that God is pleased with, but they are still His chosen people. One last point that struck me on this portion is scripture. Sometimes God brings trials and adversity into our life's for our good. The Israelites were punished through Nebuchadnezzar for their good, and they were redeemed through Cyrus for their good. Good and bad come down from the hands of a Sovereign God.
5 I am the LORD, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
This passage just shouts! Cyrus did not have to acknowledge God to be used by God! How many people today are being used by God to fulfill his plan, and they are not even aware of it? They believe it is they that control their destiny. If you are ever told this - do not believe it - it is a lie from satan sent to turn your eyes from God back unto yourself. Our life is in God's hands. Our future is in God's hands. His plan has been marching forward every since, even before time began. I hope this gives you comfort. It does me! I have come to find peace, even when I see all that is going on in the world today. They way that Christians are viewed already in this country is enough to make one lose a sense of peace, but then we refocus our eyes back on The One True God whose plan is being played out. Knowing full well that in the end we will be victorious, and already are victorious in Christ Jesus!
6 so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
men may know there is none besides me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
8 "You heavens above, rain down righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness grow with it;