He Will Do As I Say
25 July 2019
He Will Do As I Say
Reading: Isaiah 43-45; 1 Peter 4
When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’ ” (Isaiah 44:28 NLT)
Israel had fallen to the Assyrians some time earlier. Isaiah prophesied that Judah would also be conquered, but by the Babylonians, not the Assyrians. Now, in these chapters, Isaiah is prophesying that many years after the conquest of Jerusalem and the exile of the people to Babylon, a king named Cyrus would return the people to the land and order the rebuilding of both Jerusalem and God’s Temple (neither of which had yet been destroyed at the time he was prophesying)!
At the time Isaiah was speaking, the Assyrian Empire was the world power and Babylon was only just becoming a player on the world stage. Read this carefully:
• By revelation from God, Isaiah looked forward in history to the fall of Assyria, the ascendancy of Babylon, the conquest of Judah and Jerusalem by Babylon, and then the fall of Babylon.
• He saw the ascendancy of the Medo-Persian Empire (which didn’t exist yet), and of Emperor Cyrus, who would command the restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple in the first year of his reign.
• Jeremiah, who lived during the fall of Jerusalem a century later, also prophesied a return of the exiles to Jerusalem.
22 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom: 23 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any of you who are the Lord’s people may go there for this task. And may the Lord your God be with you!” (2 Chronicles 36:22-23 NLT)
My point is, God knows what is going to happen way before it happens. So if God knows things hundreds of years in advance, he knows what’s going to happen in your life and mine tomorrow and next week and next year. And he can be trusted to see us through, no matter what!
Father, Thanks for being God – the only future-seeing and destiny-controlling God. Thanks for your Word, the Bible, that helps us know these things about you. I trust you with my today, my tomorrow, and my forever. You alone are God. Amen.