Friday, March 3, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Isaiah 45-50
We have read Isaiah’s prophetic warnings that Judah and the capital city Jerusalem would be conquered and destroyed because of the sin and rebellion of the people (fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar’s armies razed the city and Temple and took the people captive to Babylon). Isaiah prophesied God would send a great king who would conquer the nations and direct the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. In a stunning announcement, God identified the king as “Cyrus…my shepherd”, more than a hundred years before his birth (Isaiah 44:28)!
Isaiah’s prophecy is directed to Cyrus in chapter 45 where the Lord describes the future king of Persia as His “anointed”. Why would God call a heathen king His “anointed” (45:1)? The answer to that question is summed up in one word, “Sovereignty”. The LORD Who is Almighty, Omniscient, and Creator is the Sustainer and Sovereign of His creation. No created being is beyond the rule and authority of the LORD. Every nation, king, dictator, and president is an instrument in the hand of the LORD. Consider the words of the LORD in Isaiah’s prophecy:
Isaiah 45:5-8 – “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded [bind; encircle] thee, though thou hast not known me:
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [not sin, but calamity; sorrow]: I the LORD do all these things.”
Kings, presidents, dictators, and even pastors may boast, “Look what I have wrought”; however, we are all nothing without God! We are frail creatures of clay and, though we strive to do much apart from His will, the LORD will have His way with us according to His eternal purposes. Isaiah’s prophecy expresses the foolishness of men who suppose they operate independent of God in these words:
Isaiah 45:9 – “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds [i.e. broken pieces of pottery] of the earth. Shall the clay say to him [the potter] that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?”
More than a century before he was born, the scriptures described the extent of Cyrus’ conquest in Isaiah 45:13-14. Unlike all the ancient nations of history that rose to greatness only to fall and become a footnote in history, the LORD promised Israel she “shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation” (45:17). One of the great testimonies of the LORD’s sovereign faithfulness is the existence of an ancient people called the Jews and a state named Israel!
Isaiah 45:18 is one of the great verses of the Bible that eliminates any possibility of evolution or the co-existence of both a Creator and an evolutionary process. This verse declares unequivocally, the LORD, Jehovah, Eternal, Self-existent God is Creator of all things!
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 [lit. without form; confusion], he formed [made and shaped it like a potter shapes a clay vessel] it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
Proponents of evolution would have you believe the earth was a lifeless mass without form and, somehow over billions and billions of years a process of evolution caused the earth to become an inhabitable place that would support microscopic life forms that would eventually, over billions and billions of years, evolve into the our world [in my opinion, evolution takes a lot of blind faith in a “science” that cannot be tested or proved].
What does Isaiah 45:18 tell us about creation? “The LORD created the heavens”…the sun, stars, moons, and planets (45:18a). The LORD “formed the earth and made it”… fashioned and shaped as a potter with a plan and design (45:18b). The LORD “established” the earth…in other words, He made it perfect according to His purpose (45:18c). The LORD “created it not in vain”…unlike evolutionist who postulate the universe came into existence out of confusion, Isaiah declares exactly the opposite…God shaped and formed the world so that it was inhabitable from the beginning (45:18d). To cap off the fact that creation is a reflection of the glory of its Creator, God declares: “I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
Who is the LORD? Look at His creation and you will see a display of His greatness and glory.
Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith