Day 164.
Of all the prophecies in the Bible, this one from Isaiah may be the most unusual. Isaiah prophesied between 740 and 701. The Northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians during his tenure, who threatened to do the same to Judah and Jerusalem, but God turned them back. Judah would be conquered about 100 years later by the Babylonians. Isaiah told of this exile time and again as a warning to the people to turn back to God. Yet even as he warned them and prophesied that they would be carried off into exile, he also, like the other prophets, told them that God would one day restore them. He paints a vivid picture of Jesus as the suffering servant whose stripes would heal them. But unlike the other prophets, Isaiah also names the king that would release them from captivity and restore them to Israel. He names Cyrus, king of the Persians that would eventually conquer the Medes and Babylonians and in 538, over 150 years after Isaiah’s tenure, King Cyrus does exactly what Isaiah prophesied. It is one of those moments when God shows that his sovereign hand steers not only Israel’s direction for His glory, but all the nations.

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:
“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,
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.
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.
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.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me,
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.

McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Dt 18, Ps 105, Is 45, Rev 15

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