Isaiah 45:1-13

Apr 1, 2024    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“‘I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways. He shall build My city and let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 45:13, NKJV)

The LORD called the Persian king Cyrus by name over a century before he was born. God would raise him up to execute judgment on Gentile nations, and to lead His people Israel out of Babylonian exile. This shows us how God works in the kingdoms of men to accomplish His purposes. It also shows how God raises up and deposes anyone He chooses. He removes their strong armor to have His way. Babylon was considered to be impregnable, but God would break down its defenses to allow Cyrus to conquer it. He would also use Cyrus to issue the decree by which the temple in Jerusalem would be rebuilt. Cyrus would not accomplish these things for money or honor but because the LORD had ordained it and raised him up for this purpose.

This tells us much about how God works with us. He knew us before we were born. He has ordained us for a specific work. He gifts us as He wills and withholds certain gifts as He wills. He prepares our steps in advance and leads us in the way. This is the heritage of everyone who calls on the name of the LORD and surrenders to His Lordship.

“Woe to him who strives with his Maker...Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’” (Isaiah 45:9, NKJV)

It is foolish for us to strive with our Maker by trying to be something that we are not. It is foolish for us to struggle for the place that God has given to another or to covet the gifts He has given to others. We would all be wise to simply rest in the Lord, accept our place, and say with the apostle Paul:

“By the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10, NKJV)