Isaiah Chapter 45 Continued
Verses 13-19: Cyrus is again addressed as the one who has been “raised … up in righteousness”, and who “shall build my city”, and shall “let go my captives”. This does not imply that Cyrus himself was a true believer, but that God providentially raised him up as an act of His righteousness to Israel. History in fact records that Cyrus did fulfill this prophecy by subsidizing the reconstruction of Jerusalem and its temple.
Isaiah 45:13 “I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.”
God has a purpose in all of this. God, Himself, raises up Cyrus to carry out the purposes of God. Cyrus was not righteous, but God clothed Cyrus in His righteousness. The Hebrews will be set free, not for monetary gain, but because God directed Cyrus to do this.
Many people who work for God are doing it to please God, not for money.
Isaiah 45:14 “Thus saith the LORD, The labor of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, [saying], Surely God [is] in thee; and [there is] none else, [there is] no God.”
“Egypt … Ethiopia … Sabeans”: Three countries to the south (43:3), illustrate the worldwide submission to Israel that will prevail during the messianic kingdom age. “Surely, God is in thee”. All nations will acknowledge the presence of the one true God among His people Israel (49:23; 60:14).
Paul the apostle found a fuller sense in these words when he advised the Corinthians on exercising prophecy rather than tongues in their meeting. This brought an acknowledgement from visitors of God’s presence among them (1 Cor. 14:25).
Egypt symbolizes the world, in this case, the unconverted world. The Ethiopians, Sabeans, and Egyptians were not only “men tall of stature” physically, but were thought of as men of power. They were merchants. At one time, Egypt was thought of as a very powerful nation. They would not have been easily conquered.
The power of God in Cyrus brought around their surrender. We know they are conquered, because they are in chains. All of these mighty men are aware that Cyrus had supernatural help from God. They recognize God’s hand in this and worship Him as the One True God.
Isaiah 45:15 “Verily thou [art] a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior.”
“Hidest thyself”: The contemporary situation hid God’s purposes of mercy toward Israel. i.e. that they would repent and He would eventually regather them and make Jerusalem the center of world attention (8:17; 54:8; 57:17; Psalm 44:24).
This is speaking of the mysteries of God. God is hidden, until we reach out and search for Him.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
God was hidden to the heathen people, until Jesus made salvation open to all who would believe. God had revealed Himself to the Israelites alone. God gave His law to the Hebrews, but grace was given to all through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Verses 16-17: “Israel shall be saved”: Makers of idols are to find disillusionment because of the failure of their gods to deliver, but Israel is to find eternal salvation in the Lord (44:9-11; Romans 11:25-27).
Isaiah 45:16 “They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together [that are] makers of idols.”
People worshipped idols, because they were not acquainted with the One True God. To worship an idol is about the most foolish thing a person can do. The idol could not be of any help at all to them.
A desire to worship God was built into men. They just had not found the real God to worship. The only thing that would keep a person from being saved would be to choose to worship an idol over God.
Isaiah 45:17 “[But] Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.”
The salvation that the LORD provides, is not a temporary situation, it is for all eternity. Notice “in the LORD”. If we are in Him and He in us, we are His. Abraham’s faith in God was counted unto him for righteousness. All who place their faith in the LORD will be saved like their faithful father Abraham.
It is your faith that saves you (read Romans 10:9-10).
Isaiah 45:18 “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else.”
We spoke before, how God created the earth and the heavens for the habitation of mankind. When God created the earth, heavens, and everything, and everyone in it, He said it was good. Everything, including man, was created good. Ultimately man’s free will and sin nature has caused sin.
God actually created man to live forever, but man sinned and brought death. God, who created all things, is good. God, realizing the failure of man to live victorious on this earth, gave us a better plan of salvation which is grace. God is God. Let Him be God alone.
Isaiah 45:19 “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”
“Not spoken in secret”: Unlike mysterious utterances of the false gods (8:19; 29:4), God’s revelations through His true prophets are open and accessible.
God spoke from the mountaintop to the people at Mount Sinai. They could not bear to hear, and God then spoke to them through Moses. God’s presence was in the tabernacle in the wilderness. He was not a God that hid from them. He showed Himself over and over to His people.
The law was not bad, if they had kept it. No man lives above sin, so God sent a Savior (Jesus Christ). God is Righteousness. When we believe, we take on the righteousness of Christ, which puts us in right standing with God. The seed of Jacob is the same as the seed of Abraham.
Galatians 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”
Galatians 3:29 “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Verses 20-25: God calls to His people to “assemble” themselves from among the “nations” (Gentiles), and return to Him because He is both “a just God” and a “Savior” to those who will come to Him. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth”, is a glorious invitation to all to come to the Lord. On hearing a sermon based on this text, Charles Spurgeon, the famous nineteenth century English Baptist pastor, was converted to Christ.
This invitation is similar to the one given by Jesus when He said: “come unto me all ye that labor … and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). This invitation is followed by the absolute statement that “every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess” (Phil. 2:10-11). The chapter ends with the sweeping affirmation, “in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified,” which is quoted by the apostle Paul (in Romans 11:26).
Isaiah 45:20 “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye [that are] escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god [that] cannot save.”
This explains the futility of worshipping a god that cannot save. They are escaped of the idolatrous country, now they must escape the worship of idols, and come to the God that saves.
Isaiah 45:21 “Tell ye, and bring [them] near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? [who] hath told it from that time? [have] not I the LORD? and [there is] no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; [there is] none beside me.”
“Who hath declared this from ancient time?”: The Lord’s case to prove He is the only true God is unanswerable; only He foretold the captivity of Judah and the deliverance from that captivity, as well as other future events that happened just as He had predicted.
“There is no God else … there is none”: The Lord restated the truth expressed by Moses (in Deut. 4:35; 43:10; 44:6; 45:6). The scribe who asked Jesus about the greatest commandment cited this same principle in agreeing with Jesus’ answer to his question (Mark 12:32).
This is a challenge to the false gods. God does not care how many false gods they have. There is no strength or wisdom in all of them combined. God has told from the beginning of His saving power. All He has said, He has done. God had proved over and over that the idols were nothings, that He alone is God.
Men can put their faith in God and be saved. God is a just God. His justice is Holy. The things you can look for in God are mercy, truth, peace, joy, happiness, and righteousness. He is also, the Savior of the world.
Isaiah 45:22 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.”
“Be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:” When the Messiah sits on His throne in Jerusalem, all people will enjoy His temporal salvation in the physical blessings of the millennial earth and will have opportunity for spiritual salvation (49:6).
Another way to say this is found in the following Scriptures.
Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
God made man from the dust of the earth. God breathed the breath of life into man. That breath is our life. The will of man is in the fact that he became a living soul. The thing that separates man from animals is the power to choose. This is the soul of man.
Animals have breath, but they do not have a soul. Man alone has the power to choose to follow God, or not. Notice in verse 22 above, it is an act of the will. We must recognize God for who He is, and allow Him to save us.
Isaiah 45:23 “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”
“Every knee shall bow”: In the kingdom age, all nations will worship the one true God of Israel. A further meaning, justified by the New Testament, applies this verse to believers’ accountability to God when He evaluates their works (Romans 14:11). In assigning the words another meaning, Paul relates the words to the coming universal acknowledgment that “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
This same statement is made about Jesus (in Philippians 2:10-11). “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;” “And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
God said it, it is so.
Isaiah 45:24 “Surely, shall [one] say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: [even] to him shall [men] come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.”
There is coming a time when those who denied Him will be ashamed, for all shall know Him.
Hebrews 8:11 “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
Isaiah 45:25 “In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
“All the seed of Israel”: Physical descent from Abraham alone cannot bring justification. Only the faithful remnant of Israel will be saved (verse 17; Rom. 11:25-27). “Justified” means to be declared righteous, to be treated as if one is not sinful, but holy through the application of Christ’s righteousness to the one who believes (61:10; 2 Cor. 5:21).
LORD is Jehovah here. Jesus means Jehovah Savior. This then, is speaking of the salvation that all mankind can have in Jesus Christ. When I see “all the seed of Israel”, I believe it is speaking of the physical and spiritual house of Israel.
We will be “justified” (just as if we had never sinned), because He paid the price for our sins with His precious shed blood. The glory is His and the Father’s.
Isaiah Chapter 45 Continued Questions
- Why did God raise up Cyrus?
- What gives Cyrus righteousness?
- What does Egypt symbolize?
- What was meant by “men of stature”?
- How do we know these 3 countries are conquered?
- What effect does the victory have on the people of Egypt?
- What is verse 15 speaking of?
- Who were the only ones God had revealed Himself to, in the past?
- Verse 16 tells us what will happen to the makers of idols?
- Abraham’s _________ was counted unto him for righteousness.
- What chapter and verse in Romans tell us what is necessary to do to be saved?
- God created the earth to be _____________.
- What did God say, after He created each thing?
- What is the better plan of salvation?
- Where had God spoken to the Israelites?
- What effect did it have on them?
- When do we receive the righteousness of Christ?
- What is verse 20 explaining?
- Verse 21 is a challenge to what?
- What are some of the things you can look for in God?
- What is the life of man?
- What separates the man and animals?
- Who had God sworn by?
- ___ ____ ______ shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
- What does “justified” mean?