Cyrus was called “My shepherd” in 44:28. This is a term used for the Kings of Judah.
In the absence of a Jewish king to lead God’s people a gentile emperor was given the title, the anointing and the responsibility.
586 Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian forces destroyed
559 Cyrus took the throne of
549 Cyrus conquered the Medes and combined the two empires.
539 Cyrus conquered the Babylonians
538 Cyrus made a decree that the Jews could return to
515 the temple in
444 Nehemiah went to build the city walls.
45:1-4 – Cyrus the Anointed Gentile Ruler
“anointed” is now used to refer to Cyrus. “Anointed” is a term used for Saul and David.
The “Anointed One” is the word Messiah. Cyrus would have stood in the Messiah’s position at this time before the Messiah arrived.
Cyrus’ responsibilities would have been:
1) Set people free
2) Bring God’s judgment on unbelievers
The results would bring about God’s will and the knowledge of him to the earth.
Cyrus would easily conquer other nations and become very wealthy.
This occurred when he conquered
Cyrus would not know God (45:4) but God would do these things “so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel” (45:3)
All of this is done because history revolves around the Jewish people (45:4)
45:5-7 – God Establishes the Rules; We Simply Follow Them or Not
God will strengthen Cyrus to fulfill God’s will even though Cyrus does not acknowledge God.
God is trying to reveal himself to the world and he will use believers and non-believers to reveal himself.
God is going to reveal himself so that wherever the sun shines men know him.
God is the only one who can:
a) form light
b) create darkness
c) bring prosperity
d) create disaster
Notice he establishes the rules, the foundations, the way things work.
We may obey or disobey the rules and cause prosperity or disaster.
But, that is different than creating the rules that cause prosperity or disaster.
We my use gravity to our advantage or it may cause us problems but we did not create gravity.
God is the cause in that sense of everything.
But, God does not cause everything.
Describes how God sending righteousness and is causing salvation to appear and righteousness to grow.
a) God sent Jesus who made it possible for us to be declared righteous (positional)
b) We can receive salvation through Christ’s righteousness
c) After having received salvation we now can grow in righteousness (temporal)
45:9-13 – The Reality of God’s Plan: Learn to Live with it
God has a plan and a will. God has established the rules. He is the absolute.
Wisdom would say accept God’s plan, play by his rules because anything less than that will bring destruction.
This is not teaching predestination!
Why would a predestined potsherd quarrel with his maker?
Does the potsherd want to get saved but the creator’s will is damnation?
Obviously the potsherd has a will and these verses are warning the potsherd to accept God’s plan and God’s rules.
Rejection of God’s plan and God’s rules will lead to the destruction of the pot.
Isaiah 64:8 – Clay acknowledges the potters place
Jeremiah 18:6 – kingdom’s threatened with disaster but they repent
2 Timothy 2:20 – if a man cleanses himself
Romans 9:20-21 – God’s will and the plan he revealed in
Isaiah’s day was to send
a) The potter is forming a pot. God is forming your life.
b) The potter does not explain to the pot what he is doing. God did not explain to Job, David or Peter everything he was doing in their life.
c) If the pot does not cooperate the pot will be destroyed. If man rejects God’s plan they will be destroyed.
People are destroyed like pottery when the stumble on the stumbling stone:
“Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone.’ As it is written: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ ” (Romans 9:32-33 and Isaiah 8:14; 28:16)
God has a plan for
He is not interested in their opinions.
They will be exiles.
They will be set free.
End of story.
45:14-17 Describes the ultimate end of God’s plan
The gentile world will reject their false gods and
“Hides” does not mean:
a) God has not revealed himself in nature (Rom. 1)
b) God has not revealed himself in scripture (The last few chapters in Isaiah are all about God revealing what is going to happen in the future so that people might know that he is the only God.)
“Hide” does mean that God does not always reveal to us all the “whys?”, “whens?”, etc. that our natural selves want to know but do not need to know.
We need to know what God has revealed. He has revealed:
a) That he exists
b) That he rewards those who earnestly seek him
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Dt. 29:29)
Result of God’s hidden plan and motives:
a) Idol makers will be disgraced and shamed.
45:18-19 – The Creator Says There is no Secret: Here I am! Seek me!!
The creative act and purpose is described as evidence to God’s power and purpose
God’s two ways of revealing himself are both mentioned in these two verses:
a) General Revelation – in nature to all men
b) Special Revelation – in scripture to believers
God is not these things:
a) speaking the truth in a secret
b) hiding in darkness, where he can not be found
c) telling us to seek him, but he knows it is no use, because we can not find him.
Instead, God is:
a) speaking the truth clearly
b) in the light where he is clearly seen and may be found
c) available and can be found by the searching human heart!
His words are TRUTH and they are RIGHT.
45:20-25 – The Final Judgment and Verdict
The gathering of the nations.
Idol worshippers are ignorant because they refused the truth
The nations are asked to counsel together and present what is happening?
Then they are asked, “Who told you this was going to happen?”
The answer is “the LORD”.
He is God. He is righteous. He is the savior.
With that information then all should turn to the righteous God for him to save them.
Every knee will bow. Every tongue will swear.
Everyone will say those who raged against God will be put to shame.
Israel will be found righteous.