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Isaiah's word's in chapter 44 verses 18 & 19 today are classic Old Testament very direct words! "Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, "Why, it's just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a chunk of wood?" I wonder about us in our lives today - do we create idols of our own today? Maybe our idols are not made out of chunks of wood these days. But do we create idols perhaps out of other people? Do we create idols out of material goods? Do we create idols out of our careers? Do we create idols out of how we spend our time? Are you bowing down and worshiping any "chunks of wood" in your life today? Please turn any idols you might have over to Jesus and allow him to heal you from worshiping those idols in your life!
In Isaiah chapter 45 readings we read about King Cyrus of Persia! Verse 13 says this about Cyrus in today's readings: "I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will guide all his actions. He will restore my city and free my captive people--and not for a reward! I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!" The interesting thing to note here is that Cyrus was not Jewish - he was a Gentile ruler who was raised up for the purpose of freeing the Israelite captives from exile in Babylon and allowing them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. In yesterday's readings in chapter 45 verse 1 Cyrus was even referred to as "God's anointed." This is the only place in the Bible where a Gentile ruler is said to be anointed. It's also very interesting to note that Isaiah is calling Cyrus by name some 150 years before Cyrus ruled! Isaiah prophesied from 740 to 681 B.C. and Cyrus ruled from 559 to 530 B.C. Some Bible commentaries suggest that Cyrus read these prophesies of Isaiah during his reign and was so moved by them that he decided to indeed fulfill them. In any case, Cyrus played a pivotal role in our spiritual history - allowing the promise of Abraham's many descendants to continue to the fulfillment of the coming Messiah in Jesus! Below is a replica of a Bas-Relief from the 6th century B.C. found in Pasargade, the capital city of Persia founded by Cyrus II. It depicts "Cyrus the Great" (as Cyrus is commonly referred to):
Isaiah chapter 45 verses 22 & 23 are powerful and foreshadow Jesus' ministry here on earth: "Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to my name." These verses are also foreshadowing of the book of Revelation that we will read later this year. We read Paul quoting these verses to describe Jesus in Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10-11. Do you believe that all the world should look to God for salvation? Is there another god? Is Jesus God? Do you believe that one day every tongue will confess allegiance to the name of Jesus and every knee will bow to Jesus?
Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.
Below is an image from Isaiah 46:4 from today's readings:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Isaiah titled "Dead Idols or the Living God" is at this link and "The Knowledge of the Lord" is at this link and "The Lord's Superiority to the gods of Babylon" is at this link.
Worship God: Isaiah chapter 45 verse 23 reminded me of the fantastic Brian Doerksen song "Come, Now is the Time to Worship" which includes the lyrics: "One day every tongue will confess you are God. One day every knee will bow. Still the greatest treasure remains for those who choose you now!" Here's a great live version of this song, sung by The Oslo Gospel Choir:
Has your tongue confessed who God is? Click here and bow your knee!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!