Isaiah 45 — Part 1 — The Indisputable, Sovereignty of God Alone
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut, “I will go before you and make the crooked places straight, I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.” Isaiah 45:1-2
Despite all that the atheists and God-haters say and do, despite the best efforts of the entertainment and news media to dismiss God and His people from any credibility in the national discourse of daily life events, despite the violence and persecution against God’s people on a global scale, despite the indoctrination of millions in higher academic institutions to believe that God is irrelevant to their lives, God still remains God and His Word stands sure.
“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’” 2 Timothy 2:19
God is God and there is no other. He has revealed Himself to men through Israel and manifested Himself in the man Jesus Christ, the Son of God and son of man.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
God needs not to prove anything to anyone. His Kingdom is sovereign and there is no other God, no other Creator to oppose Him. In Isaiah 45 we have a glimpse into the hands-on involvement of God in the affairs of this world.
Over the next few days we’ll look into this prophecy of victory, of blessing, of judgment of personal relationship, of invitation, of warning and of assurance and promise of good to come for Israel and for the Body of Christ.
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus…”
Cyrus is a type of Jesus Christ, Who is God’s anointed Son. Cyrus, the king of Persia, was anointed for the purpose of bringing down the kingdom of Babylon and punishing it for desecrating the temple and taking Israel into captivity.
The prophecy about the man, Cyrus, who would be king of Persia 150 years later and would capture Babylon, speaks of actual events that would take place during the siege.
“To open before him the two-leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut - The folding gates of a city, or a palace. It so happened in the scene of revelry which prevailed in Babylon when Cyrus took it, that the gates within the city which led from the streets to the river were left open. The city was not only enclosed with walls, but there were walls within the city on each side of the river Euphrates with gates, by which the inhabitants had access to the water of the river. Had not these gates been left open on that occasion, contrary to the usual custom, the Persians would have been shut up in the bed of the river, and could all have been destroyed. It also happened in the revelry of that night, that the gates of the palace were left open, so that there was access to every part of the city. Herodotus (i. 191) says, 'If the besieged had been aware of the designs of Cyrus, or had discovered the project before its actual accomplishment, they might have effected the total destruction of these troops. They had only to secure the little gates which led to the river, and to have manned the embankments on either side, and they might have enclosed the Persians in a net from which they could never have escaped; as it happened they were taken by surprise; and such is the extent of that city, that, as the inhabitants themselves affirm, they who lived in the extremities were made prisoners before the alarm was communicated to the center of the palace.' None but an omniscient Being could have predicted, a hundred and fifty years before it occurred, that such an event would take place; and this is one of the many prophecies which demonstrate in the most particular manner that Isaiah was inspired.”
“…to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut.”
In the Daniel 5 account of the fall of Babylon, the conqueror of the kingdom is Darius the Mede who many biblical scholars argue is indeed Cyrus the King of Persia. Throughout history, as today, individuals are often known by several names depending on who is giving the account of their life. One that is common to all of us is Jacob and Israel. Jacob is Israel whose name was changed by God to Israel after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord to receive a blessing. The disciple who we know as Peter was named Cephas, until Jesus changed his name to Petros, Peter.
The basic message of this first verse is that God has called a man Cyrus the King of Persia, also referred to as Darius the Mede, to be His instrument of justice that He has anointed to root out the evil kingdoms of this world and to break their power and subdue them. And God will accomplish this through him by His divine power acting with him, “whose right hand I have held…” God will break down their walls and the power of their fortresses that have held people in captivity and He will open their gates for freedom and justice to reign and their gates will never be closed.
In the larger prophetic context, Jesus Christ, The Messiah, The anointed One of God, is the true King who will subdue all the kingdoms of the earth and bring them to bow before Him, The King of kings and Lord of Lords. And none shall be able to resist Him. Their power will be utterly broken and their evil deeds and ways will be utterly and forever destroyed from the face of the earth. All that this world’s rulers have come to rely on “…the gates of bronze and…bars of iron…” will be brought to naught. Nothing of their hands shall save them.