By Rev David Munobwa
The first part of this chapter (verse 1-7) is a direct address to King Cyrus; a Gentile King that the Lord anointed to be His instrument to deliver Israel from exile and rebuild Jerusalem.
During his reign, Cyrus registered victories which revealed that God was at work. The purpose was for the nations to know that the Lord called Cyrus. God is never short of manpower, He can use anyone for His purpose and glory (1 Corrinthuans 1:26-27).
Because Cyrus was a heathen king who conquered nations that were known for idol worshipping, God emphasised the theme of “I am the Lord, and there’s no other”. He mentioned it six times in this chapter ( Isaiah 45:5,6,14,18,21,22).
In light of this, God emphasises the foolishness of those who carry around wooden idols and pray to gods that never save.
The “woes” mentioned in verses 9 to 10 point to the sovereignty & omniscience of God. Striving/quarrelling with God is like clay questioning the potter, or a new born asking the father, “why was I born?” This is an offence to God!
The above forms the context of v11-13. It is possible that in Isaiah’s days, some Jews faulted God for choosing Cyrus, a gentile, as a deliver of God’s people. The point here is that God chose him for a purpose, and Cyrus did not only command the return of Israelites from Babylon, but also rebuilt Jerusalem and the temple (Ezera 6:3-5), “not for a price or reward”(Isaiah 45:13).
The prophecy of salvation goes beyond Israel, the whole world is invited to “look unto (turn to) the Lord for salvation”.
Jesus fulfilled this call and through Him all people of the earth have an opportunity to be saved. In Him all generations of Israel (human race) will be justified. Have you seized that opportunity? You can receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior today! Hallelujah!!
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