Review Isaiah 45:8-14
45:14 The Lord promised that when Cyrus caused Jerusalem to be rebuilt and the exiles to be set free that “(nations) will bow down before you.” Read Psalm 22:22-31 to see how this is ultimately fulfilled in Christ.
- People from all nations will come to know the Holy One of Israel, the Christ. They will come from far away and bow down before him in worship.
- When Egypt and the nations near Egypt would see what happened to the people of Judah and Jerusalem when it was restored by Cyrus for free, they would be amazed and have to acknowledge God’s working.
Why is it so vital to understand that righteousness and salvation cannot come from within us, but must rain down from above, from God?
Describe how God causes his righteousness to “rain down from above.”
“Do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?” 45:11 List some of the ways unbelievers or false teachers question the Bible’s messaging.
What are some ways that believers might begin to question God’s working?
Review some of the other times God revealed that he used unbelievers to accomplish his plan for his Church.
Even though God used Cyrus to restore them, he clearly didn’t want the people of Israel to venerate Cyrus or praise Cyrus as their benefactor and hero. Why is it important not to lose sight of this truth when we consider prominent political figures who make monumental decisions in favor of God’s people?
- (Confer 45:8 “I the Lord, have created it”) God maintains the right to all praise and glory when he uses godless rulers to accomplish his good plans.
- Cyrus the king of Persia certainly invoked God’s name when making his decree, but history clearly records that Cyrus acted out of his own interest and maintained belief in his own false gods.
- The very fact that God foretold it ahead of time was to ward off any false notion that Cyrus’ gods or Cyrus himself deserved any credit.
Isaiah 45:15-25 “The Hidden God Reveals Himself in the Saving Word”
When Adam and Eve hid from God they didn’t really know what they were doing. They only knew they were afraid to see God because of the shame of sin. Describe how all other people in Scripture respond when they see either a holy angel or a vision of the one true God. How would you respond if the Lord suddenly made his glory fully known to you right now?
- Recall especially Isaiah 6:1-5
- Recall how Moses was afraid to look at even the burning bush and so look at God.
- Recall especially the disciples when Jesus was transfigured or when the apostle John saw him in a vision.
45:15 The sad truth is God hides himself from all sinners, they could not stand in his holy presence. Read Dt 31:16–18 to review the reason why God continued to hide himself even from his covenant people, Israel.
- “You are about to lie down with your fathers, but this people will rise up and prostitute themselves to the foreign gods among them in the land they are about to enter. They will forsake me and break my covenant that I made with them. 17My anger will burn against them on that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them. They will be on the verge of being devoured, and many evils and distresses will find them. They will say on that day, ‘Haven’t these evil things found us because our God is not among us?’ 18Yet I will hide my face on that day because of all the evil they have done by turning to other gods. – Dt 31:16–18.
45:15 “Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel.“ Even though we cannot directly see the Lord we do have the ability to know him. Discuss what different things he hides himself behind.
- God’s wisdom and attributes are seen in his creation.
- God is revealed by his Word.
- God is revealed by those who represent him and who he sends (believers.)
- He doesn’t fully show himself except through his revealed means of grace. Israel would take him at his Word, without having to see him.
- Compare with verse 19 “I have not spoken in secret”
- Yet he has revealed himself in he past and made himself known now by his Son Jesus!
45:17 What does verse 17 say about the duration of heaven and the rest of God’s people?
- We will never have to worry about heaven and earth ending or our enemy once again tempting us and pulling us away from our God!
45:19 Use this verse to explain the following axioms:
1) “God hides himself, but he is still able to be found in this world.”
2) “God hides himself, but he wants his people to seek him.”
- He did not hide his Word but gave it openly to Israel for them to proclaim to all the world.
- In his Word he urges us to seek him, that is to know his Word and trust in it and then live by it.
- To “seek” the Lord is for believers to strive to know and serve him through his revealed Word. To “find him” is to experience his goodness according to what he has promised to all who believe.
- Consider the following from 2 Ch 15:1–4: The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa and said this to him: Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he is there to be found. If you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach, and without the law. 4Then in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel. They sought him, and he was found by them.
45:22-25 How are these things all fulfilled?
- All nations are invited to have salvation in Jesus. There is no other name given to us by which we can be saved. Jesus is the only God. Before Jesus every knee will bow. He alone is our righteousness and strength.