Isaiah 45 – Every Knee Shall Bow
Vs. 1-6 Other foreign kings were used by God. They were spoken to in dreams and promised God’s help. Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar come to mind. But, this is the first time that a prophet calls a foreign king out by name and refers to him as God’s anointed. God takes hold of Cyrus’ right hand. It is like He is stretching out His hand on top of Cyrus’ hand as Cyrus fulfills God’s covenant promises.
Though Cyrus has not acknowledged Yahweh, God goes before him to level anything that could come between him and God’s plans for Israel. It is “for the sake of” His servant Jacob. God’s intention and purpose is His sake. His sake is to be in an eternal blood covenant relationship with Israel and us through Israel. Israel’s sake is to be the chosen people that usher in God’s redemptive work in the world. Nothing can come between God and His perfect plans and so God uses a gentile to restore Israel and continue His covenant work.
Vs. 7-13 God reminds us who He is and what He does. Anyone who would have a problem with God using Cyrus, a gentile, to fulfill His plans is just in the way. He reminds them whose hand is on Cyrus’ hand and that it is His will, not the will of those who argue with Him, that will be done. Cyrus will rebuild Israel and gather Israel because God wants it to happen and not for any prize or benefit to him.
Vs. 14-21 So, here is the question that everyone asks. If God is the God and savior of Israel, why has He been hiding Himself for a time?
What will it take for Israel to realize that God is who He says He is? Will it be the defeat and subjugation of their most powerful physical enemies? Will it be when all makers of idols are put to shame because their hunks of wood or metal didn’t act on their behalf against the one the Lord has chosen? Israel won’t be disgraced or shamed forever because eventually they will come to the correct conclusion, that God is for them. God saves. He keeps all of his covenant promises. And any shame they have will be taken from them by the servant as we will see.
Vs. 22-25 Here is a prophetic appeal for all the people on earth to come to God to be saved by Him. Here God makes an irrevocable vow that He will make a way for the whole world to be saved and “every knee will bow and every tongue confess” that deliverance and strength comes from Him alone. (Read Philippians 2:1-11)
Everyone who rages against the Lord will be put to shame. This is because they will never accept the truth. They will look at the truth that God is real, that He loves them, and that He made a way for them to Him, but in their arrogance and pride they will deny the truth in front of them on judgment day. This is self-made hell. But, the “descendants of Israel,” those who seek salvation and find it in Him alone will be delivered and celebrate His work in their deliverance.