Do you believe that God has power over nations and governments? Isaiah 44:24-28 gives us proof that God knows who governs by name and can use powers on earth to affect His people for good. These prophesies were given hundreds of years before they occurred in history. When Isaiah wrote them during the reign of Hezekiah and the captivity of the Israelites by Babylon was in the distant future.
Isaiah 44:24-28 This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer and Creator:
“I am the Lord, who made all things.
I alone stretched out the heavens.
Who was with me
when I made the earth? God is the Creator.
25 I expose the false prophets as liars
and make fools of fortune-tellers.
I cause the wise to give bad advice,
thus proving them to be fools. God exposes false prophets.
26 But I carry out the predictions of my prophets!
By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’
and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt;
I will restore all your ruins!’ The prophesies of God’s prophets are always true.
27 When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’
they will be dry.
28 When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ God will use Cyrus, the future leader of Persia.
he will certainly do as I say.
He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’;
he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”. God will cause Cyrus to order the people returned and the temple rebuilt!
Amazing! God was going to use a pagan king, an unbeliever, to restore the Jews to their homeland of Canaan and then have the temple rebuilt. This story is given in Ezra 1:2-4, “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you! 4 Wherever this Jewish remnant is found, let their neighbors contribute toward their expenses by giving them silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock, as well as a voluntary offering for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.”
A short while later King Cyrus added to this decree of letting the people return to rebuild, Ezra 6:3-5, “In the first year of King Cyrus’s reign, a decree was sent out concerning the Temple of God at Jerusalem. “Let the Temple be rebuilt on the site where Jews used to offer their sacrifices, using the original foundations. Its height will be ninety feet, and its width will be ninety feet. 4 Every three layers of specially prepared stones will be topped by a layer of timber. All expenses will be paid by the royal treasury. 5 Furthermore, the gold and silver cups, which were taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, must be returned to Jerusalem and put back where they belong. Let them be taken back to the Temple of God.”
Not only did God provide for the people’s to return to their homeland, but He had neighbors contributing to their expenses. God had all the treasured articles taken from the temple by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon returned with them!
I love this amazing story of God’s provision in the face of total opposition. The Jews were held in captivity for 70 years and then God arranged for their release, money to travel and settle back home and for His temple to be rebuilt. Only God could foretell of this event and then carry it out exactly.
May the power of our God motivate you to cling to Him and His promises today. What He says He will do! God keeps His promises.