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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

2019.09.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ Isaiah 45:6-9

Questions from the Scripture text: Why does Yahweh say He chose such a strange way to deliver Israel as by the hand of Persian king Cyrus (Isaiah 45:6): When will they know what they know? What is it that they would know? What does Yahweh form (Isaiah 45:7a)? What does He create (verse 7b)? What does He make (verse 7c)? What does He create (verse 7d)? What does He call Himself? How much does He claim to do? What does He command to pour down from the heavens above in Isaiah 45:8a? What does He command the skies to pour down in verse 8b? What does He command the earth to open in order to bring forth together with the heaven (verse 8c-d)? Who has created this (verse 8e)? What is pronounced upon someone in Isaiah 45:9? Upon whom is this woe pronounced—with Whom does he strive? To what does He compare men? With whom does the clay argue? What does the last line of verse 9 call men? And what are the men who argue with God ironically saying?
This week’s Call to Worship, Invocation, Confession of Sin and Song of Adoration came from Isaiah 45:6-9. In these verses, Yahweh is explaining why He plans to use Cyrus the Persian to deliver Israel from their bondage to Babylon. It was NOT a popular plan with Israelites!

But that’s just the point, isn’t it? God isn’t under any obligation to follow our plans or to make His plans according to our preferences. By doing things in a way that no one else would have thought of, and that our flesh bristles against, God shows that He is Yahweh, and there is no other.

Does He make light? Then praise God! But He also creates the darkness, and it has a good purpose in His plan.

Does He make peace? Then praise God! But when calamity comes, He has created that too. He is never the One who sins, but the sin is always according to the good purpose for which He has ordained that others (who are free and wicked) commit it.

The purpose, of course, is that His righteousness and His salvation would always be coming from everywhere. From the heavens above. From within the earth beneath. From everywhere. Isaiah 45:8 is an Isaiah 45 edition of Romans 8:28. All things work together for good!

Sometimes, we see that “all things” as if it were a problem. There are some things that we would very much have preferred that He would NOT work together. But to think like that is to forget not only who He is, but also who we are. God grant to us to remember that we are but men!
What situation in your life might you be tempted to bristle at? Who is using it to do what?
Suggested songs: ARP131 “My Heart Is Not Exalted” or TPH231 “Whate’er My God Ordains”

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