Oct. 19. Foolishness of Idolatry; Cyrus to Free Israel

Is. 44:1-45:25

Isaiah foretold that after a period of punishment, God would free His people. Temple servants of various gods were branded with the name of their god. He used the expression of, “I am the Lord’s” to indicate Israel’s ownership by God. They were indeed God’s servants even while being disobedient.

The Lord is King of Israel; his Redeemer; the Lord of hosts; the First and the Last. Isaiah pointed out the folly and futility of worshipping idols. A blacksmith may make a molten image or a craftsman may carve a wooden god, but they are useless. The god’s maker may become hungry and tired, but his god cannot relieve his discomfort. After falling down to worship the idol, nothing happens because it cannot see or hear the pleas of its worshipper.

Only God can predict the future and see His prediction fulfilled. Many years before Cyrus’ birth, Isaiah had prophesied that Cyrus would divert the river and capture Babylon by traveling on the dry riverbed. God’s people would be freed to return to rebuild Jerusalem and His temple.

Isaiah continued his prophecy regarding the release of the Israelites from their Babylonian captors. He had predicted earlier that Babylon would be punished for the evil that they had done against Judah/Israel. God had chosen Cyrus and had raised him up to lead the Persians in His purpose to set His people free. The prophet outlined God’s plan for Cyrus that would make the Lord known to the Persian king and how He would use him for His purpose. Ultimately, Cyrus would know that God is, “A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.” Jews and Gentiles alike would be able to experience salvation through the blood of Christ under His New Covenant that would come hundreds of years later.