November 8, 2018

Isaiah 45:11-13… Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and His maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it. I even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. I have raised  him up in righteousness , and I will direct all his ways, he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives , not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts”

The beginning of this chapter was addressed to Cyrus who the Lord called His anointed. This was a prophecy concerning the king that God would use to return His people back to their native land. The people of Israel would be in captivity at that time, and the LORD that would allow the captivity to take place would also initiate their return through the same mechanism. God had used Prophet Jeremiah to warn His people to turn to Him and if they continued to be rebellious, the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) would take them to Babylon and they would be in captivity for about 70 years after which the LORD would return them to their land. What God spoke through Jeremiah came to pass, and their return was also prophesied through prophet Isaiah and it was first written in chapter 44:28 “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasures, even saying to Jerusalem, They shall be built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid, and in chapter 45:1 we now read, “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut”.

Who is Cyrus? Well the king that was the ruler of all the nations at the beginning was Nebuchadnezzar, Later his grandson was the ruling king when he was attacked and defeated by Medes and Persia, whose king was Cyrus, and him God used to make a proclamation that reads thus, “Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, the king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (he is the God), which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:1-3).

The point I am making in this column of today is for you to know and appreciate the God of Israel who is the God of the whole earth. He is God that created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and created you and I and placed us on the earth to inhabit it. He sits on his throne in heaven and He administers all that goes on in heaven and on earth. He gave the kingdom to whomever he pleases to rule and also established a people to Himself through whom He could make Himself known. These people were supposed to be righteous, holy and God-fearing nation, but when they disobeyed the King of the Universe, he made them to be conquered and transported to another land (Babylon) where they were used as slaves again. To show the providence of God, God continued to use people to fulfill his plan on the earth. He spoke through people (prophecy) about things that would happen before it actually happened. We can see this in the writing of the word of God through Jeremiah and Isaiah (and many others). He moved powerfully through this Gentile king (Cyrus) to make proclamation and put it into writing that God of Israel is God, and that His people (Israel) should arise and go to their land to build an house for God. This was how the people of Israel were set free to return to the land of Israel. Unfortunately, not all of them responded to this clarion call, apparently they did not want to bother themselves again. But those that returned were written in the book of Ezra, and in the book of Ezra, we were told of two returns, the first one was led by Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple, (1-6) and the second under his leadership (Ezra) to rebuild the spiritual condition of his people.

Therefore brothers and sisters, the stories in the Bible concern REAL people, and REAL God. They are stories that all of us should pay attention to in order to understand what God is doing in the universe. All people were created by Him and for Him. He gives dominion to different people at different times. If you follow the world history, you will see that all the previous rulers or kings from king of Babylon to king of Persia, and the succeeding rulers up till the present moment are recorded in the Bible. The details of this are in the book of Daniel which was the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had and could not remember it until God revealed it to Daniel and the interpretation. The last part of this dream was that a stone came from heaven and crushed the image and filled the earth. Daniel 2:44 reads, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand for ever.”

The question now is, Do you know this God that is revealing things before it happens? Do you know you can ask Him in prayer concerning your aspirations about life in general, whether yours or your spouse’s, or your children, or your business, or your career or whatever has been bothering you?. The God of the universe knows the end from the beginning, and He is in control of all situations. He is your 911 and He is a very present help in trouble. His promises are sure and whatever His mouth has spoken will surely come to pass. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. We will continue from here tomorrow. God bless you.

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