God’s Word of Joy
Isaiah 45:1-25: The Persian leader Cyrus is chosen by the LORD to free God’s people who have been held captive and to rebuild Jerusalem (verse 13). The holy God of Israel is the LORD of creation and history and is the only true God.
The Lord Appoints Cyrus
1The Lord has chosen Cyrus to be king.
He has appointed him to conquer nations;
he sends him to strip kings of their power;
the Lord will open the gates of cities for him.
To Cyrus the Lord says,
2“I myself will prepare your way,
leveling mountains and hills.
I will break down bronze gates
and smash their iron bars.
3I will give you treasures from dark, secret places;
then you will know that I am the Lord
and that the God of Israel has called you by name.
4I appoint you to help my servant Israel,
the people that I have chosen.
I have given you great honor,
although you do not know me.
5“I am the Lord; there is no other god.
I will give you the strength you need,
although you do not know me.
6I do this so that everyone
from one end of the world to the other
may know that I am the Lord
and that there is no other god.
7I create both light and darkness;
I bring both blessing and disaster.
I, the Lord, do all these things.
8I will send victory from the sky like rain;
the earth will open to receive it
and will blossom with freedom and justice.
I, the Lord, will make this happen.”
The Lord of Creation and History
9 Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker,
a pot that is like all the others?
Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing?
Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill?
10Do we dare say to our parents,
“Why did you make me like this?”
11The Lord, the holy God of Israel,
the one who shapes the future, says:
“You have no right to question me about my children
or to tell me what I ought to do!
12I am the one who made the earth
and created human beings to live there.
By my power I stretched out the heavens;
I control the sun, the moon, and the stars.
13I myself have stirred Cyrus to action
to fulfill my purpose and put things right.
I will straighten out every road that he travels.
He will rebuild my city, Jerusalem,
and set my captive people free.
No one has hired him or bribed him to do this.”
The Lord Almighty has spoken.
14The Lord says to Israel,
“The wealth of Egypt and Ethiopia will be yours,
and the tall men of Seba will be your slaves;
they will follow you in chains.
They will bow down to you and confess,
‘God is with you—he alone is God.
15The God of Israel, who saves his people,
is a God who conceals himself.
16Those who make idols will all be ashamed;
all of them will be disgraced.
17But Israel is saved by the Lord,
and her victory lasts forever;
her people will never be disgraced.’”
18The Lord created the heavens—
he is the one who is God!
He formed and made the earth—
he made it firm and lasting.
He did not make it a desolate waste,
but a place for people to live.
It is he who says, “I am the Lord,
and there is no other god.
19I have not spoken in secret
or kept my purpose hidden.
I did not require the people of Israel
to look for me in a desolate waste.
I am the Lord, and I speak the truth;
I make known what is right.”
The Lord of the World and the Idols of Babylon
20The Lord says,
“Come together, people of the nations,
all who survive the fall of the empire;
present yourselves for the trial!
The people who parade with their idols of wood
and pray to gods that cannot save them—
those people know nothing at all!
21Come and present your case in court;
let the defendants consult one another.
Who predicted long ago what would happen?
Was it not I, the Lord, the God who saves his people?
There is no other god.
22“Turn to me now and be saved,
people all over the world!
I am the only God there is.
23 My promise is true,
and it will not be changed.
I solemnly promise by all that I am:
Everyone will come and kneel before me
and vow to be loyal to me.
24“They will say that only through me
are victory and strength to be found;
but all who hate me will suffer disgrace.
25I, the Lord, will rescue all the descendants of Jacob,
and they will give me praise.
Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 45:22
“Turn to me now and be saved, people all over the world! I am the only God there is.”
The word translated as “chosen” in verse 1 is the Hebrew word for messiah or anointed one. Cyrus is the only non-Israelite in the Bible to be referenced in this way. What has God chosen him to do? How is God described in verses 12-19? Is there someone you know who needs to learn about God’s saving love?
Lord God, I kneel before you and place my trust in you. Your promises are true and in you alone can true victory and strength be found. Amen.
Isaiah 48:1-22: God is LORD of the future.