Isaiah

Isaiah 45 The LORD Redeems His People.

The LORD would raise up Cyrus, the Babylonian king, and the only one outside of Israel to be called the LORD’s ‘anointed’, also referred to as the LORD’s ‘shepherd’, as his instrument to return a remnant to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple (v. 1 Cf. 44:28). The LORD would go before Cyrus to make the way easier for him to subdue nations, and breakdown gates, and gain the treasures of his enemies (vv. 2-3a Cf. 40:4; Ps. 107:16). It was also the will of the LORD that Cyrus might know that the LORD was Israel’s covenant LORD, and they were called by his name, For the sake of Jacob his servant, and Israel his elect (vv. 3b-4a Cf. 44:1). The LORD called Cyrus, even though he had not known the LORD, and would strengthen him for the work ahead (vv. 4b-5 Cf. 44:8, 28; Dt. 4:35; 32:39). “I am the LORD, and there is no other, there is no God besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other” (v. 6 Cf. 37:20; Ps. 102:14; 52:10). The LORD is sovereign over all creation and the activity of humanity, all history-light and darkness (v. 7 Cf. 47:11; Amos 3:6).

All creation is subject to the sovereign will of God, to the benefit of those on whom his favour rests (v. 8 Cf. Ps. 85:11). Woe to those who strive with their maker, for he fashions all men as clay in the hands of a potter (Cf. Jer. 18:6). It would be as absurd as a child interrogating their father or mother as to why they begot them as they are (vv. 9-10 Cf. Rom. 9:20-21). The faithful acknowledge the LORD as their maker, the work of his hands-as Creator and Redeemer (vv. 11-12 Cf. 29:23; 42:5; 60:21; 64:8; Gen. 1:26; 2:1; Neh. 9:6; Jer. 27:5). Cyrus would be raised up by the LORD of hosts for righteousness-the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem through his exiled remnant, whom Cyrus would aid in their return-without price or reward (v. 13 Cf. 41:2; 44:28). This return will cause the nations to yield resources to them, and that there is no god like their God (v. 14 Cf. 14:1; 49:23; 60:9-16). Israel’s Saviour is thus a God who hides himself (v. 15). Idolaters will be ashamed and disgraced (v. 16; 44:11), but Israel would be saved with an everlasting salvation (v. 17 Cf. 29:22; 51:6).

The LORD created the world with the purpose that it would be inhabited. In this respect, he has not spoken in secret, those who seek him will not do so in vain, for he ‘speaks righteousness”- declaring things that are right (vv. 18-19 Cf. 63:1). Those who have rejected idolatry and escaped those nations that have not, are called together and invited to bring their case before the LORD, the one who declares the end from the beginning (vv. 20-21 Cf. 41:22; 43:9; 44:8-9; 46:7; Jer. 10:5). God offers himself as Saviour to “the ends of the earth” (v. 22), for his word will accomplish his purpose-that every knee shall bow before him, an take a vow of covenantal allegiance (vv. 23-24 Cf. 19:18; 65:16; Dt. 6:13; Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10-11). “This is the goal of redemptive history (cf. v. 14)” (NGSB p.1106). “All shall be ashamed who are incensed against him” (v. 24 Cf. 41:11; 54:17). “In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory” (v. 25 Cf. I Cor. 1:31). It is only through the covenant LORD that his people would be justified.

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