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Bible Pathways 08/09/2002

  • 2002 Aug 09
  • COMMENTS

August 09

Read Isaiah 43 -- 46

In Today's Reading:

God revealed Himself and His plan to restore Israel through Cyrus; Jerusalem and the Temple to be rebuilt; the power of the Lord to destroy Babylon and the worthlessness of idols.

Verses for Today:

Saith to Jerusalem, thou shalt (again) be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places (ruins). . . . Cyrus . . . shall perform all My pleasure. . . . Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will . . . open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee . . . that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel (44:26-28; 45:1-3).

When Isaiah was a prophet, in Jerusalem the people felt very secure since it was the City of God. Therefore, Isaiah's prophecy concerning Jerusalem was shocking. Isaiah foretold both the fall and the rebuilding of the Temple while it was still standing. At that time, the city walls were in perfect condition and the nation was enjoying freedom, prosperity, and security.

Babylon, capital city of the Chaldean dynasty, was surrounded by massive walls about 300 feet high and wide enough for chariots to ride atop it two abreast. The Babylonians were certain that no one could ever invade their great city. However, Isaiah foretold that a man named Cyrus would conquer Babylon by entering through gates across the river that flowed through the city. This prophecy was given 150 years before it took place to reassure the Jews that God was still in control of human events. The Lord foretold: I will dry up [your] rivers (Isaiah 44:27).

Only God could have given Isaiah such remarkable details concerning the defeat of Babylon. Isaiah had already said: Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah (13:19-20).

Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus of Persia, who would conquer the Medes, would also conquer the city of Babylon. At the chosen hour, the Euphrates River, which flowed through the center of Babylon, was rerouted through a bypassing canal, and the Medo-Persian armies entered on the dry riverbed through two gates which had been left unlocked and unguarded the night King Belshazzar and all his leaders were drunk and saw the handwriting of God on the wall (44:27; Daniel 5:5).

Isaiah also prophesied that the Lord said: Cyrus, he is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure (Isaiah 44:28). This Gentile world-conqueror would release the Jews from captivity and then urge them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:1-4). This was fulfilled at the end of Judah's 70 years of captivity exactly as foretold by Jeremiah the prophet (Jeremiah 25:11-12;29:10).

Even when men may think they are in control of this world, God is working out His master plan for the ages. This fact should eliminate any question of His loving concern and care for His followers. God has a perfect plan for our lives and it is of utmost importance that we read His Word daily in order to know and do His will. Only then can we become the person He wants us to be in order to accomplish the purpose for which He created us.

It is a fact that the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will (Proverbs 21:1).

Christ Revealed:

As the Redeemer (Isaiah 43:1; 44:22-24). Through His death on the cross, Christ has redeemed (bought back) all who trust Him as Savior (1 Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 4:4-5; Titus 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

Word Studies:

43:2 fire = oppression; kindle upon = hurt; 43:13 let it = prevent it from happening; 44:9 delectable = cherished; 45:1 I will loose the loins = "I will weaken"; two leaved gates = double gates; 46:12 stouthearted = stubborn-minded.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. John Sweeney (NY) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Qatar (724,000) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Muslim conversion to Christ is forbidden, but expatriate Christians are allowed to meet informally · 92% Muslim; 4% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic; 1% Hindu; .5% Eatern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray fervently with others (Romans 15:30).

Optional Reading: James 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:1

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