So here we are, in the second half of Isaiah where the people of Israel are given an announcement of hope. Exile is over! Revisit Bethany’s post from yesterday and watch the Bible Project video on this if you didn’t yesterday, they are so helpful! (I swear we aren’t sponsoring them, we just love their work…) I gain so much more understanding of God’s word when I’m reading it in context. ANYWAY, back to the chapters:
This jumped out to me today:
“Who has stirred up this king from the east, rightly calling him to God’s service? Who gives this man victory over many nations and permits him to trample their kings underfoot? 41:2
This ‘king from the east’ is Cyrus II of Persia, who will become king within a century, conquer Babylon and help release the exiled Jews and bring them back to Jerusalem. God, sovereign over world politics, uses a pagan ruler to execute his plan. God is exceedingly sovereign over the hands of man, no matter their earthly position. (Good news for all: the American presidential election doesn’t impact God’s standings.)
“Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the Lord, the First and the Last. I alone am he.” 41:4
I love what my commentary has to say about this verse: “Each generation gets caught up in its own problems, but God’s plan embraces all generations. When your grandparents lived, God worked personally in the lives of his people. When your great-grandchildren live, God will still work personally in the lives of his people. He is the only one who sees 100 years from now as clearly as 100 years ago. When you are concerned about the future, talk with God, who knows the generations of the future as well as he knows the generations of the past.”
If you want a good perspective shaper: talk to someone from an older generation. Grab a grandparent or an older friend at church and get them talking about what they’ve seen God do over their lifetime. It’s humbling, encouraging and life-giving to everyone involved.