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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, September 13 2023

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Today’s study of chapters 45 and 46 is a continuation of chapter 44 and of the prophesy about king Cyrus. In the conclusion of last week’s study, we learnt that God chose Cyrus long before he was born because God saw in him that he will certainly do what was asked of him. “he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’” (vs28). And we closed with this question: “Can God see that in us?” The royal proclamations of Cyrus fulfilling these prophecies can be found in Ezra 1:2 and 2 Chronicles 36:23. In today’s two-part study titled “Proof of God's Sovereignty” we will further investigate the purpose of God’s choosing of Cyrus, as well as His salvation plan.

PART 1: CHAPTER 45:1-25
Verses 1-3 God’s Calling And Mission For Cyrus.

From these verses, we learn a couple of things that would naturally give birth to questions. Questions such as:

• Why would God call Cyrus His anointed?
He was not even born yet, and would later be born into a heathen nation and not brought up to know God. Yet, God called him His anointed.

• Why did God make him so powerful?
To crush the strength of mighty kings. The MSG says God gave him . . . “the task of taming the nations, of terrifying their kings—He gave him free rein, no restrictions:”

• Why did God choose to go ahead of him clear the way for him?
Again the MSG says: “I’ll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road. I’ll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances. I’ll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables— Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name”

Verses 4-7 The Purpose Behind Cyrus’ Calling
Verse 4 kicks off by saying “For Jacob My servant’s sake”
It was not because Cyrus was the smartest or most talented or strongest man available. It wasn’t Cyrus that moved God to act, but the condition and cry of His people. It was for their sake.
The MSG says “It’s because of my dear servant Jacob, Israel my chosen, That I’ve singled you out, called you by name, and given you this privileged work. And you don’t even know me!”

Amazing that although Cyrus didn’t even know the LORD, yet God could anoint him, guide him, bless him, and use him. How much more should God be able to do through those who have at least a mustard seed’s worth of faith in Him. Proverbs 21:1 says, The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. God can work in and through others in very unexpected ways.

In most religions of Isaiah’s day, it was believed that a god would do nothing for a person unless one gave something to that god, usually a sacrifice or promise of offerings. The Lord, however, is not like that. He dispenses His grace and favor on whoever He pleases. It is not determined by what one promises Him.
Verse 6 says: “That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me”
This verse was fulfilled in Ezra 1:1-3. That passage shows how when Cyrus made his proclamation allowing the people of God to return to the Promised Land, that he acknowledged to the whole world the greatness and uniqueness of the LORD God of Israel.

Verses 8-10 The Foolishness of Resisting Our Creator.
Verse 8 shows us that salvation and righteousness always spring up together. When God brings salvation to a life, He also brings righteousness to that life.
In verses 9-10, we see that while God desires everyone to be saved, not all people accept His righteousness. Questioning God’s creation is to make oneself God’s judge, telling Him what He should or should not have created. Humans have no right to critique their Creator.

Verses 11-21 The Almighty is the God of All Creation
Repeatedly through chapter 44 and in these verses, God emphasizes His place as Creator. By sheer repetition, Isaiah virtually pounds it into our awareness – that God is our Creator, and we have obligations to Him as our Creator. And when we seek for God with all of our heart, we will find Him. Jeremiah 29:13 says, and you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Hebrews 11:6 says, he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

As Creator, He can choose to do as He pleases! How He fashioned His plan for the salvation of Israel and ultimately the world is not what anyone could have fathomed. Cyrus, did not conceive any of the ideas or strategies on his own. It was God who raised him (vs 13). It goes to show that we cannot stereotype God. His ways are incapable of being investigated, analyzed, or scrutinized; they are mysterious and unfathomable. The ultimate truth is that knowing God as Creator isn’t an option, or a matter for debates. When we reject God as Creator, we reject the God of the Bible, and serve a god of our own imagination. (Romans 1:18-20) As the LORD declares His own greatness, faithfulness, and saving power, it naturally contrasts with the foolish idols of the nation – which must be carried, instead of being able to carry the one who worships them.

Verses 22-25 Look to God and be Saved.
These verses of scripture portray a simple but powerful message that reveals God’s plan of salvation.
•It shows the simplicity of salvation: all we must do is look. “One can read many bookson theology which expound all kinds of things in an attempt to show how man canreach God, but these theories are far from the truth.
•It shows the focus of salvation: we must look to God, and never to ourselves or toanything else of man. “Look unto ME, is His Word, which means looking away fromthe church because that will save nobody; away from the preacher because he candisappoint and disillusion you; away from all outward form and ceremony. You mustlook off from all this to the throne and there, in your heart, see the risen, reigning LordJesus Christ.”
•It shows the love behind salvation: God pleads with man, “Look to Me.”
•It shows the assurance of salvation: and be saved.
•It shows the extent of God’s saving love: all you ends of the earth!

PART 2: CHAPTER 46:1 -13
In this Chapter, Isaiah exposes the inability of the main Babylonian gods to protect their city from an inevitable coming attack. He also writes about the power and majesty of God, as well as His worthiness of worship.

Verses 1 -7: The One True God
These verses are like a continuation from last week’s study of chapter 44:18-20. In verse 1, reference is made to Bel and Nebo. Names of Marduk and Nabu, the two principal gods in the Babylonian pantheon. “Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low;”
From these verses we can make out two great contrasts:
• The people who make idols have to carry those idols themselves; but God carries His people. (vs 3&4)
• The people who make idols have to use their skills to make the idol look pretty; but God has made His people fearfully and wonderfully; in His image and likeness!

Verses 8 -13: God Displays His Majesty
In a similar manner to the way in which God asked Job to account for himself (Job 38:1–3), In verses 8–10, God summons the subjects of Isaiah’s prophecy to give a full account for themselves: “Remember this, and show yourselves men; recall to mind, O you transgressors” (vs 8).

Interestingly, in verse 9 God goes further to say: “Remember the former things of old.”
It was a call for His people to review the track record of His dealings with mankind and conclude that He is God, despite their present captivity.
In this passage God declares the following:
(1) that He alone is God; (vs 9)
(2) that there is none like Him; (vs 9)
(3) that He determines the end from the beginning; (vs 10)
(4) that He establishes all that takes place; (vs 10)
(5) that His divine counsel is sufficient and sure; (vs 11)
(6) that His good will is always accomplished. (vs 11)

In verses 11–13 God speaks of His future work, which would entail the overthrow of Babylon, which Isaiah has been prophesying about. God, through the prophet Isaiah declared saying that I will be: “calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed, I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”
This bird of prey referred to here, was Cyrus, the leader of the Medo-Persian empire (Isa. 45:1), who would capture Babylon in 539 BC (Dan. 5) the fulfilment of the prophecy we studied last week, which was more than 150 years after the writing of this prophecy. God can choose to use anyone; that is why He is sovereign. In Ezra 1:2 the Lord instructed Cyrus, giving him the responsibility to build a temple in Jerusalem.
In verses 12–13 God describes the recipient of the prophecy as “stubborn-hearted” and “far from righteousness.” Next, God affirms that His righteousness and salvation is “near, it shall not be far off; my salvation shall not delay” (vs 13).
Ultimately, this refers to justification by faith alone in the promised Messiah. (Eph. 2:8-9)

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