Isaiah 45

Isaiah 45  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
In the opening verses of chapter 45 the prophet speaks to Cyrus on God’s behalf, though as yet he had no existence. He was to be raised up as anointed for this particular service and his hand would be holden of God till it was accomplished. The details given in verses 1-3 were strikingly fulfilled, as we find recorded in the book of Daniel, though Darius the Mede is the conqueror mentioned there. He was the commander of the Medo-Persian army, but the rising power of Cyrus the Persian lay behind him. As we read these verses, we see Belshazzar, and “the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another” (Dan. 5:66Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. (Daniel 5:6)). We see the great gates of Babylon open and broken; and then, as a result of the fall of the great city, “the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places” are in the hands of Cyrus. We see here an allusion to the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried to Babylon, being restored, as recorded in Ezra 1:7-117Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; 8Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. 9And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, 10Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand. 11All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:7‑11).
With Israel’s persistent idolatry still in mind, Jehovah declares in the succeeding verses His surpassing greatness. All things are in His hands. He creates the light and the darkness, the peace and the “evil”, in the sense of disaster. Man is but a potsherd of the earth the broken piece of a pot! Let man recognize his own littleness. Let him strive with another potsherd like himself if he will, but let him not strive with the Creator. It is not fitting that a man should strive with his father or mother, much less with his Maker. Verses 5, 13 and 14 again refer to Cyrus and the way in which God would raise him up. It would be “in righteousness”, for he would carry into effect the will of God; and to do the will of God is righteousness.
The raising up of Cyrus and the granting to him such wide dominion was a surprising act in view of the previous power and magnificence of Babylon. We need not wonder that it is claimed as a display of the surpassing power of God, in the presence of which idols are nothing.
Chapters 45:14—49:4
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