Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Isaiah 45 – Every Knee Shall Bow and Tongue Confess

Yahweh (YHWH) through the prophet Isaiah: “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” ~Isaiah 45:22 (NRSV).

The prophecies of the impending judgments of God have weaved their way through Isaiah 1–39, together with short exposés on the blessings of eventual salvation. Now the prophecy has gone full circle—about 150 years has elapsed and Cyrus of Persia is to be used to crush the Babylonian empire and return the Israelites to their homeland.

The Impartiality of the Judgments of the LORD

Ever more certainly the Lord is using Cyrus to bring about Divine ends. The iterative message through Isaiah 45 is the Lord is God—there is no other.

We may very well assume that is indisputable, but does that really play out in all aspects of our lives? For example, can we understand God’s use of secular people to bring about Divine ends? Do such ‘ungodly means’ justify godly ends?

The Lord has the answer: “Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, ‘What are you making’?” (Isaiah 45:9b)

The impartiality of the judgments of the Lord prove to us, eternally, one thing above all things; no one may interpret or judge these judgments. Who can scrutinise God? We can trust one thing: the Lord is not partial in any judgment.

These matters go further. If we are mere pawns in the realm of history, apportioned a role like any other, and nothing more special than the next person, how would we rise to the Divine? It could not be.

Our Real Role

The real point of life is salvation. There is no point to life when it’s considered without recognition of, or repentance before, the Lord.

The object lesson for the Israelites was that justice turns, and God’s use of Babylon against Israel was coming to an abrupt end. No longer were these rogues to be used to shame God’s people. The Almighty was about to use another secular rogue to bring about redemption. Such redemptive ends, notwithstanding their peculiarities, are brought about by the divine hand of God.

Our real role is to foresee and comprehend the matters of judgment in our lives; to see, for whatever reason, the roles of secular people in the hand of God. They will not see it, but we might. Even at times this judgment comes against us, for we are not perfect; yet, as we wait patiently, the Lord never more surely redeems.

Our real role is to understand the absolute impartiality of judgment. Though we are children of God we are never blessed so much as to be saved from these judgments.

Our real role is to appreciate that God is in control, and such control is both righteousness and strength; and, that one day every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess—all that is written about the Lord in the Bible, with reverence, is true. Jesus is Lord.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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