Isaiah 45

1 the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him, and strip kings of their armor; to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut: 2 “I will go before you, and make the rough places smooth. I will break the doors of brass in pieces, and cut apart the bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, who call you by your name, even the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel my chosen, I have called you by your name. I have given you a title, though you have not known me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is no one else. Besides me, there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known me; 6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is no one besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no one else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create calamity. I am the LORD, who does all these things. 8 Rain, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, that it may produce salvation, and let it cause righteousness to spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it. 9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker— a clay pot amongst the clay pots of the earth! Shall the clay ask him who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’ or your work, ‘He has no hands?’ 10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What have you become the father of?’ or to a mother, ‘To what have you given birth?’” 11 the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker says: “You ask me about the things that are to come, concerning my sons, and you command me concerning the work of my hands! 12 I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens; and I have commanded all their army. 13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways. He shall build my city, and he shall let my exiles go free, not for price nor reward,” says the LORD of Armies. 14 the LORD says: “The labor of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to you, and they shall be yours. They will go after you. They shall come over in chains; and they will bow down to you. They will make supplication to you: ‘Surely God is in you; and there is no one else. There is no other god. 15 Most certainly you are a God who hidden yourself, God of Israel, the Savior.’” 16 They will be disappointed, yes, confounded, all of them. Those who are makers of idols will go into confusion together. 17 Israel will be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation. You will not be disappointed nor confounded to ages everlasting. 18 For the LORD who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn’t create it a waste, who formed it to be inhabited says: “I am the LORD; and there is no other. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a place of the land of darkness. I didn’t say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak righteousness. I declare things that are right. 20 “Assemble yourselves and come. Draw near together, you who have escaped from the nations. Those have no knowledge who carry the wood of their engraved image, and pray to a god that can’t save. 21 Declare and present it. Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has shown this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Haven’t I, the LORD? There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; there is no one besides me. 22 “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. 23 I have sworn by myself. The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and will not be revoked, that to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. 24 They will say of me, ‘There is righteousness and strength only in the LORD.’” Even to him shall men come; and all those who raged against him shall be disappointed. 25 All the offspring of Israel will be justified in the LORD, and will rejoice!

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-4

Cyrus is called God’s anointed; he was designed and qualified for his great service by the counsel of God. The gates of Babylon which led to the river, were left open the night that Cyrus marched his army into the empty channel. The Lord went before him, giving entrance to the cities he besieged. He gave him also treasures, which had been hidden in secret places. The true God was to Cyrus an unknown God; yet God foreknew him; he called him by his name. The exact fulfilment of this must have shown Cyrus that Jehovah was the only true God, and that it was for the sake of Israel that he was prospered. In all the changes of states and kingdoms, God works out the good of his church.

Verses 5-10

There is no God beside Jehovah. There is nothing done without him. He makes peace, put here for all good; and creates evil, not the evil of sin, but the evil of punishment. He is the Author of all that is true, holy, good, or happy; and evil, error, and misery, came into the world by his permission, through the wilful apostacy of his creatures, but are restrained and overruled to his righteous purpose. This doctrine is applied, for the comfort of those that earnestly longed, yet quietly waited, for the redemption of Israel. The redemption of sinners by the Son of God, and the pouring out the Spirit, to give success to the gospel, are chiefly here intended. We must not expect salvation without righteousness; together the Lord hath created them. Let not oppressors oppose God’s designs for his people. Let not the poor oppressed murmur, as if God dealt unkindly with them. Men are but earthen pots; they are broken potsherds, and are very much made so by mutual contentions. To contend with Him is as senseless as for clay to find fault with the potter. Let us turn God’s promises into prayers, beseeching him that salvation may abound among us, and let us rest assured that the Judge of all the earth will do right.

Verses 11-19

Believers may ask in prayer for what they need; if for their good, it will not be withheld. But how common to hear God called to account for his dealings with man! Cyrus provided for the returning Jews. Those redeemed by Christ shall be provided for. The restoration would convince many, and convert some; and all that truly join the Lord, find his service perfect freedom. Though God be his people’s God and Saviour, yet sometimes he lays them under his frowns; but let them wait upon the Lord who hides his face. There is a world without end; and it will be well or ill with us, according as it shall be with us in that world. The Lord we serve and trust, is God alone. All that God has said is plain, satisfactory, and just. As God in his word calls us to seek him, so he never denied believing prayers, nor disappointed believing expectations. He gives grace sufficient, and comfort and satisfaction of soul.

Verses 20-25

The nations are exhorted to draw near to Jehovah. None besides is able to help; he is the Saviour, who can save without the assistance of any, but without whom none can save. If the heart is brought into the obedience of Christ, the knee will cheerfully obey his commands. To Christ men shall come from every nation for blessings; all that hate his cause shall be put to shame, and all believers shall rejoice in him as their Friend and Portion. All must come to him: may we now come to him as the Lord our Righteousness, walking according to his commandments.

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