Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2010 Isaiah 45:5‏

Isaiah 45:5     I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.

Oh Friends, the ways of our God are certainly different to ours; higher, much more complex, intricate and far-reaching than those of His mortal children. And that’s the way it ought to be, for if we were all at the same level, then there’d be no real justification to worship and adore Him. That difference in mental prowess is particularly shown in our Bit today. The message in Isaiah 45 deals with Cyrus, king of Persia. It begins: ‘Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden (held), to subdue nations before him…I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight…And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.’ (Is.45:1-3) Yes Friends, our God called Cyrus by name and promised to lead him to great victories in battle and to secret treasures all for one specific reason; to conquer Babylon and set His chosen people Israel free from captivity so that they could go back to the Promised Land, rebuild Jerusalem and the nation of Israel as he had promised. ‘Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee….That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.’ (Is.44:21-22, 28) Ah mih breddren, what the Lord does for His people eh! But He doesn’t do it in simple, easily understood ways, for He likes high stakes, rich drama. First off, His chosen people, Israel are getting too big for their breeches; rebellious, ungodly, proud and arrogant, so He allows Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and take them away captive to Babylon. After about 70 years in captivity, the Lord figures that Israel has learned its lesson re idolatry, so He raises up Cyrus, the Persian king as His anointed, the saviour of His people. Now Friends, re the scholars, that’s the only place in the Scriptures where a Gentile is so designated. He then causes Cyrus to overthrow Babylon and eventually allows Israel to go back and rebuild Jerusalem, through people like Ezra and Nehemiah. Why do you think those guys had such an easy time and were so favoured by Cyrus? ‘And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.’ (Neh.2:8) Yes people, only because the good hand of the Lord was upon them. Oh Friends, Cyrus was a heathen king, originally worshipping false gods, and might have felt that his greatness was either a combination of his skill and the munificence of his idol gods, but little did he know that it was the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had pegged him long before to accomplish His purpose. According to the scholars’ this prophecy of Isaiah, re Cyrus, was foretold about 140 years before it actually came to pass. Wow! Isn’t our God magnificent! It’s the same way He used Nebuchadnezzar, another heathen king, to accomplish His purpose, to glorify His Holy Name. When Neb thought that all his success was directly attributable to his own prowess, he soon found out differently, and after going insane, ended up praising the Most High God Jehovah and admitting that he was the One True God. And I like how the Lord says of Cyrus: ‘For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.’ (Is.45:4) That means the Lord purposely named Cyrus long in advance to reassure His chosen people, to let them know that their God was still in control of all human events and occurrences. In support of those statements the Lord then proudly proclaims: ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.’ Now Friends, the crux of the whole matter is whether we believe it or not! Oh my people, that message was originally meant for the Jewish people of long ago, but it still holds true today, except in one respect; Jesus and not Cyrus was our Saviour. The Lord God Jehovah is still on the throne; still the ONLY God; the First and the Last, Alpha and Omega, and still in control of all affairs both in heaven and on earth. And for those who don’t believe that, then things will surely be sad with them. Friends, from the very beginning of time, from Genesis to Revelation, the Lord has been saying that He’s the One and Only True God, and the claims of any others are all false. He’s also proven it over and over through His Word, His promises and His actions. Yet many of us still refuse to believe? Why eh? I really don’t know nuh. I just know that it’s foolish and unwise to believe otherwise. (smile) All through the Good Book we see promises faithfully kept, prophecies fulfilled, and in our own lives miracles have occurred, certainly not through our own will or strength. So how does it happen, if not through some great, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Deity? And the Lord spelled it out to all and sundry through His prophet Isaiah. ‘That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is.45:6-7) Oh Friends, the Lord God of Hosts does it all; from light to darkness, peace to war, and everything in between!  Note though that the evil spoken of here is mere physical stuff, like disasters and calamities, not any kind of moral sin, for the Lord is too just and righteous to engage in that sort of thing. The long and short of the story though people is how we handle the Lord’s Word; whether we take it to heart or throw it away? If we believe it and operate under its constraints and responsibilities, obediently serving and worshipping the Lord, then glory, salvation and eternal life will be our eventual reward. However, if we don’t, then after our physical death, our spirits will roam to and fro the ends of the earth in darkness and eternal damnation like Lucifer. And the sad part of it Friends is that Lucifer knows God’s greatness better than all of us since he was once the Lord’s right hand man. But through his foolish lust for power he sought to overthrow the Lord, hence his punishment of eternal damnation. Oh my people, please don’t let Lucifer fool us into joining his evil forces, he doesn’t really care about us, and has nothing but eternal death and damnation to offer. He’s just looking for company so he can thumb his nose at the Lord and boast of numerous followers. Please stick with the wise choice; the Lord God Jehovah, His Son Jesus Christ and their Holy Sprit, the ones who have the true power over the heavens and the earth, plus consistently dole out to their followers, grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness and unconditional LOVE, then at the end offer salvation and eternal life. Wow! What an unbeatable combination! Please accept it my people. Till we talk again, the Lord willing, Much LOVE!…In the beginning…the Lord created the heaven and the earth…and all therein…


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