Restored By God
Pray that God will continue to graciously teach, encourage, guide and even surprise you from his Word each day.
Read Isaiah 44:24-45:8
 “This is what the LORD says- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,  who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,  who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’  who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’  who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”‘  “This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:  I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.  For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.  I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,  so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.  I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.  “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is God’s purpose in working through Cyrus (3,6)?
The Bible is full of surprises! It’s not only God’s people who do God’s will. King Cyrus will be God’s instrument for releasing his people from captivity and sending them back home. God has spoken about him a lot over the past few chapters. Check out more of the story in Ezra 1:1-4. Cyrus would indirectly be responsible for making the worship of God central again to the life of his people by permitting the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple (44:28). Staggeringly, God says of Cyrus: “He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please” (44:28, TNIV) and calls him his “anointed” or messiah (45:1, TNIV)! It seems outrageous, but even more readily indicates that God is in control and is who he says he is. What results from God’s release of his people through Cyrus? Exactly what we have seen before–people all over the world hear about God, starting from Jerusalem (45:6; Acts 1:7,8). By restoring his people, God’s name, too, will be restored. God uses whomever he wishes, however he wishes, and the result is for his ultimate glory and the spread of his salvation.
How can God use you to spread the glory of his name and the message of the salvation he offers? Ponder that.
Lord God, How great it will be when everyone acknowledges You as Lord! May I do my part to help bring that day about.
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