Read Isaiah 43
Powerful promises of the Lord's love and protection; prophecy of our Savior's redeeming work and Jerusalem's restoration. Cyrus is introduced. Warning against idols (chap. 46 of Isaiah). Don't miss vs. 13! What a promise!!
Only the Spirit of God could have given Isaiah such amazing details about a man named Cyrus at least 150 years before he was born. Thus saith the Lord . . . I am the Lord . . . that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof . . . That saith of Cyrus, He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure (Is. 44:24-28).
When Isaiah foretold that God would will raise up the decayed places thereof, there were no decayed places in Jerusalem. The Temple was still standing; the walls were in perfect condition; and the nation was still enjoying freedom and prosperity. Furthermore, it seemed most unlikely that a world conqueror would release the Jews and then urge them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple for the God of heaven and even help finance it and restore the Temple vessels (Neh. 1:4; Ezra 1:1-4,7-8). No prophecy seemed more unlikely to be fulfilled. Yet, all these things happened exactly as Isaiah foretold.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away (Matt. 24:35). The city of Babylon was divided into two sections by the River Euphrates. The solid walls surrounding all of Babylon were over 300 feet high and about 80 feet wide — broad enough for four chariots to be driven side by side on the top. Cyrus dug an immense canal north of Babylon and diverted the River Euphrates into this canal. Then he marched his army at night through the unguarded two-leaved (folding) gates across the entrance in the vacant river bed.
Who told Isaiah such minute details and named a man that would rule a kingdom which, at that time did not exist? Who told him the man would conquer a world empire and set free a slave nation that, at the time of the prophecy, was still enjoying its freedom in its own land? Who would have prophesied that in over 150 years the Lord God would dry up thy rivers (Is. 44:27) — that the Euphrates would be diverted from flowing through Babylon? How could Isaiah foresee that the guards of Babylon, who always closed the folding gates at sunset and stood guard throughout the night, would neglect on that particular night to close them (45:1)? Only God, who knows all things that will come to pass, could have told him.
Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever (Ps. 106:1).
Thought for Today:
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His Truth endureth to all generations (Ps. 100:5).
As the Redeemer (Is. 43:1; 44:22-24). Through His death on the cross, Christ has redeemed (bought back) all who trust Him as their Savior (I Cor. 6:20; Gal. 4:4-5; Titus 2:13-14; I Pet. 1:18-19).
43:2 fire oppression; kindle upon consume; 43:13 let it prevent it from happening; 44:9 delectable cherished; 45:1 loose the loins of weaken; two leaved gates double gates; 46:12 stouthearted stubborn-minded.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Lt. Col. & Mrs. Walter Swanson • Country: Slovenia (2 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian • Freedom of religion • 81% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Thank the Lord for hearing your prayers (Ps. 28:6-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: