Explore the Bible: Isaiah 45

Many scholars struggle with the miraculous implications of the prophecies in chapters 40 through 66 of Isaiah.  A notable example of their struggle is the calling of Cyrus of Persia by name.  If the Isaiah of chapters 1 through 39 did this, he did it 150 years before Cyrus arrived on the scene.  The predictive nature of prophecy is a stretch for those who are reluctant to believe in miracles.  When that predictive element includes names of those yet unborn, the challenge is even greater.  Josephus, a Jewish historian, records that Cyrus was shown Isaiah’s prophecy and was motivated to assist the Jews by his wonderment of their God and His servant Isaiah.  One thing is certain.  God used Cyrus for His purposes.

God is present in human history.  He superintends over the affairs of men.  It should not be a wonder to us that he also superintends over Scripture.  Take the book of Isaiah for instance.  Every scholar agrees that it changes in tenor with chapter 40.  Compare it to the whole of Scripture and you will find that it has 66 chapters as the Bible has 66 books.  The first section of Isaiah covers 39 chapters.  The Old Testament consists of 39 books.  The last section covers 27 chapters.  The New Testament includes 27 books.  The early chapters of Isaiah seem to focus on the history of Israel and their impending doom.  The latter chapters seem to focus on the Suffering Servant who is coming as a sacrifice for sin and a deliverer.  God hovers over history and over His Word.

God has the power to move men and nations.  Things may sometimes seem out of His control, but He will always have the last word.  He will move in spite of man’s evil and blindness to accomplish His purpose.  All men have an appointment with Him and not one of them will miss that appointment.

We never are more at peace than when we rely on God’s purposes and His provisions.  We should live for His glory.  Those who discover what God is doing in the world and join Him in his work will find in the end that life is overflowing with meaning.  We live in exciting days of discovery.  Those discoveries are revealing the world to be intricately and marvelously balanced.  The earth survives on a razor’s edge of fine tuning.  Paul said of Jesus, “By Him all things consist.”  This means that all things are held together by the Lord.  It would appear that Isaiah and scientific discovery would agree with Paul’s statement.

Dan Wooldridge

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