Isaiah 44:23-45:13

•Isaiah 44:23-45:13
•For God’s Purpose

23  Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;

shout, O depths of the earth;

break forth into singing, O mountains,

O forest, and every tree in it!

For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,

and will be glorified in Israel.

24  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,

who formed you from the womb:

“I am the LORD, who made all things,

who alone stretched out the heavens,

who spread out the earth by myself,

25  who frustrates the signs of liars

and makes fools of diviners,

who turns wise men back

and makes their knowledge foolish,

26  who confirms the word of his servant

and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,

who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’

and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,

and I will raise up their ruins’;

27  who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;

I will dry up your rivers’;

28  who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,

and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;

saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’

and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”

(Isaiah 44:23-28, ESV)


1 Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,

whose right hand I have grasped,

to subdue nations before him

and to loose the belts of kings,

to open doors before him

that gates may not be closed:

2  “I will go before you

and level the exalted places,

I will break in pieces the doors of bronze

and cut through the bars of iron,

3  I will give you the treasures of darkness

and the hoards in secret places,

that you may know that it is I, the LORD,

the God of Israel, who call you by your name.

4  For the sake of my servant Jacob,

and Israel my chosen,

I call you by your name,

I name you, though you do not know me.

5  I am the LORD, and there is no other,

besides me there is no God;

I equip you, though you do not know me,

6  that people may know, from the rising of the sun

and from the west, that there is none besides me;

I am the LORD, and there is no other.

7  I form light and create darkness;

I make well-being and create calamity;

I am the LORD, who does all these things.

8  “Shower, O heavens, from above,

and let the clouds rain down righteousness;

let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;

let the earth cause them both to sprout;

I the LORD have created it.

(Isaiah 45:1-8ESV)


9  “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,

a pot among earthen pots!

Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’

or ‘Your work has no handles’?

10  Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’

or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

11  Thus says the LORD,

the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:

“Ask me of things to come;

will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?

12  I made the earth

and created man on it;

it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,

and I commanded all their host.

13  I have stirred him up in righteousness,

and I will make all his ways level;

he shall build my city

and set my exiles free,

not for price or reward,”

says the LORD of hosts.

(Isaiah 45:9-13, ESV)

Main Point

• The main point of these verses are to identify who God will utilize in order to bring about His plans
• The surprise is Cyrus, pagan king of Persia
• No human is outside the bounds of God’s ability to act
• He utilize humanity in order to bring about His intended purposes

Application Points

•For God’s Purpose
– Isaiah, indeed God, has been reminding us of God’s superiority as compared to all others
– There was nothing before Him and nothing will be apart from Him
– We are being offered an understanding of God, which, we cannot attain on our own
– Unless God comes to us, we would be unable to grasp Him
– Yet this is exactly what the prophets proclaimed
– If what we learn about God is true from the prophets, then the concepts we face today should not surprise us
– God is intimately familiar with our world, He is intimately familiar with each person, knowing each of us in a profound way

Application Points

•For God’s Purpose (2)
– In knowing us and knowing what each person will do in whatever circumstance they are in, He is capable of placing each person in their respective place for His purposes
– He Himself does things in this world knowing the repercussions
– Some may wonder about free will, God’s justice, and the like
– Do our actions have meaning?
– God proclaims prior to the coming of Cyrus that Cyrus will come, and that Cyrus will have an incredible effect on the world
– God is able to mold the clay as He wills for all His purposes

“14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”

(Romans 9:14-24, ESV)

Application Points

•For God’s Purpose (3)
– In Romans Paul argued that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ and that it is not our own righteousness but the righteousness of Christ
– This truth is not only for the Jewish people, but Gentiles as well
– The Jews could ask, demand, complain, that God would utilize a pagan king for His purposes
– For Paul the same is true of salvation itself
– There can be an assumption on our part that nothing good can come from pagans
– We can even rejoice in the fact that good comes 
– However, this does not mean that because good can come from them they are saved
– God can utilize any person to bring about His purposes in the world
– Sometimes those purposes are for good, sometimes for judgment

Application Points

•For God’s Purpose (4)
– In either case God is glorified because He is the One who is in Sovereign control
– This should cause us to realize just how significant and knowledgeable God is, but also realize how important each of us are for His purpose
– Because God knows us so perfectly as to know where to place us and when for His purposes
– It is only concerning if we know nothing about God…and we know He is good, just, righteous, and loving
– Instead of us fighting against God’s sovereignty…perhaps the better thing to do is be humble before our God
– He has a design in place for the whole of existence
– Our responsibility is to be faithful, to be obedient, to what He has called us to be

Application Points

•For God’s Purpose (5)
– All of this should give us incredible peace
– If God had no plan, then none of it matters
– If God does a plan then we can find hope, even joy, knowing that whatever we go through God will utilize it in this world
– This does not excuse our moral failures, but it does give us courage, strength, and peace for when we struggle
– Let’s rejoice in the Sovereignty of our God
– Let’s also recognize our own limitations and finiteness, but rejoice that our God is limitless and infinite
– Let us be humble before our God…recognizing that though we are not always able to see it, there is a purpose
– It is God’s purpose

•Application Points
•The Gospel of Christ
–Where we began
–What went wrong
–How it is fixed
–Where it at leads