The Coming Servant Part 2: Isaiah 44, 45 (7)
Pray Psalm 118.1.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Review Isaiah chapters 44, 45.
1. How did God intend to use Cyrus as His anointed servant?
2. In what ways does Cyrus serve to point God’s people forward to “that day” of salvation yet to come?
These chapters continue the movement and momentum begun in chapter 40 toward the coming day of salvation – “that day”, as Isaiah frequently refers to it. God holds out promises of great blessing to His people, at the same time warning them against the folly of turning to idols. Their idolatry was bringing them into captivity in Babylon; they must not make that mistake again.
Perhaps God’s promises seemed rather unlikely to a people who had dwindled in numbers and strength, and who were beset by powerful enemies. But God insists again and again that, as what He had spoken in the past had come to pass, so what He is promising now will also be fulfilled. The people must look to the Lord and listen to His Word, for God alone can sustain them through their time of trial to the new day of salvation which is coming.
Cyrus, the Persian king, will serve God as His anointed one – anointed by God to return His people to the land of promise and to rebuild God’s city. This is an event that many would see in their lifetime, in particular, the generation that was carried away with Daniel, and who lived through the whole 70 years of Israel’s captivity. God’s Word would prove reliable in raising up Cyrus; therefore, His Word should be trusted concerning the coming day of salvation as well.
But how shall that day be achieved? The Lord Himself, Israel’s Redeemer, will come to save them “with an everlasting salvation” (45.17). That’s all the detail God’s people need at this time. In the remaining chapters of his book, Isaiah will provide more details about the saving work of God and His Servant, and of what the effects of that will be for God’s people, both in time, and beyond time.
1. What is the primary message for us today from these chapters? What is God saying to us about where to lodge our trust in troubled times?
2. In various ways, God reminded His people in these chapters of His sovereignty and might. How did He do this? Why?
3. What’s your primary takeaway from Isaiah 44 and 45?
For it is through faith that understanding grows so that it is not in doubt. Even though faith might be undermined by deceit of ill counsel or led astray into ruin by ancient wickedness, we can quickly return to God and receive the light of the true divine knowledge and with a deliberation that comes from an upright mind constantly pursue the better things. Cyril of Alexandria (375-444 AD), Commentary on Isaiah 18.104.22.168
Lord, You have given me Your great salvation, and I want to know more of that salvation day by day. Help me today to…
Pray Psalm 118.
Praise God for the salvation He reveals in this psalm, and for the life path and promises that come with it.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 118 (St. George’s Windsor: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come)
Thank the Lord, His love endures! All to whom His love is sure,
all who fear Him day by day, let them thanks and praise now say!
Out of my distress I cry; He will hear me from on high.
He will free me from all fear. What can man do to me here?
For the Lord stands next to me; He will give me victory!
Over all who hate my life I will triumph through the strife!
In His grace I refuge find; in His steadfast love so kind.
Trust not princes, trust not men – Christ shall be our haven then!
Praise the Lord, in whose great Name all His foes are brought to shame!
Though they swarmed on every side, in God’s Name He dashed their pride!
Like a fire His judgment goes to consume His ardent foes;
Though they pushed against Him hard, He was rescued by the Lord.
In the Savior we are strong! He is all our strength and song!
To His grace now raise your voice; in His righteousness rejoice!
For the Lord does valiantly; we shall live eternally.
Praise His works with all your breath, you whom He redeems from death.
All who know Christ’s righteousness His great Name now thank and bless!
Though His gate full righteous is, He our saving mercy is.
Cast aside and left alone, Christ is now our Cornerstone!
God has made His Son and Word our salvation: Praise the Lord!
Blessed are they who in His Name come and Jesus’ grace proclaim.
God His light upon us shines in the Savior’s sacrifice.
Praise and thanks to You, O Lord; we extol Your holy Word!
Thanks to You for You are good! Thanks to our great loving God!
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).