•For God’s Purpose
14 Thus says the LORD:
“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
and the Sabeans, men of stature,
shall come over to you and be yours;
they shall follow you;
they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will plead with you, saying:
‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,
no god besides him.’”
15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 All of them are put to shame and confounded;
the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the LORD
with everlasting salvation;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
to all eternity.
18 For thus says the LORD,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he did not create it empty,
he formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the LORD, and there is no other.
19 I did not speak in secret,
in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I the LORD speak the truth;
I declare what is right.
(Isaiah 45:14-19, ESV)
20 “Assemble yourselves and come;
draw near together,
you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge
who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
that cannot save.
21 Declare and present your case;
let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the LORD?
And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none besides me.
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.’
24 “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
all who were incensed against him.
25 In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.”
(Isaiah 45:20-25, ESV)
1 Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;
their idols are on beasts and livestock;
these things you carry are borne
as burdens on weary beasts.
2 They stoop; they bow down together;
they cannot save the burden,
but themselves go into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
4 even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
5 “To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
6 Those who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!
7 They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.
(Isaiah 46:1-7, ESV)
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”
(Isaiah 46:8-13, ESV)
• The main point of these verses are to establish God’s greatness against pagan belief
• God has offered Himself as the only truth for reality
• Salvation for them is far away the more they rely on themselves
• Yet it is also near, since God always near
•The Righteous Savior
– Isaiah’s criticisms of pagan belief is important for us to consider
– What is also significant about the prophets is that they spoke the truth
– Truth about the failure of the people...human shortcomings when it comes to righteousness and salvation
– The only way that the prophets could have such knowledge is if it came from God Himself
– There is no God apart from God
– The question comes to mind, why does this God reserve such right?
– How can the people of God, and the people of the world know that this is the God of all things?
•The Righteous Savior (2)
– The answer is that the this God is the only One who as acted
– He has claimed things in the past that would be in the present and future
– We would also be missing something if we assumed God only predicts
– He also acts
– Even with our limited human freedom He is able to know, act, and even place humans exactly where we need to be in order for our decisions to matter
– Such is the case for Cyrus
– That also means He places all other humans in their time and place in order for Cyrus to accomplish God’s design
– It is because God acts Cyrus is able to exist at all
– He has brought forth this incredible universe
– In the end God will not be usurped by us
•The Righteous Savior (3)
– God reminds us in this text that He is truly Sovereign over all things
– This seems to be the mantra since chapter 40
– Our responsibility is to continue to honor God and live in this faith knowing it leads to righteousness, not our own, but His
– At almost all points in human history we have been in perilous times
– There have been despots and evil rulers
– There have been sinful people living in a dark world
– It is just as important for us to remember what is being said in today’s text
– Isaiah offers a clear warning, “Remember this and stand firm”
– It is in forgetting the truth that we will fall into fallacies and lies
•The Righteous Savior (4)
– Too many are ignoring the warnings
– Too many are forgetting that our God is the great God of the universe
– Too many are believing in the powers of the world over the power of God
– Too many are ignoring the reality of God Almighty
– Let us not be deceived, let us not forget
– From Egypt to Cush indeed
– If God can have this effect on the world, then let us trust Him not this world
– Because if we should forget then we will not find righteousness but unrighteousness
– If we forget we will find despair instead of salvation
– We will never be able to stand if we forget
– Thanks be to God that He has brought righteousness and salvation
– That He alone is the Righteous Savior
•The Gospel of Christ
–Where we began
–What went wrong
–How it is fixed
–Where it at leads