For the audio Podcast of this and every episode, find us on Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify or HERE
If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
According to the United Nations, there are 195 sovereign nations on Earth today. 54 are in Africa48 in Asia44 in Europe33 in Latin America and the Caribbean14 in Oceaniaand only 2 in North America.
And the Council on Foreign Relations says that there are at least 26 armed conflicts currently occuring globally this very minute.
Millions of people in all sorts of distress due to these conditions. And is God only God over a few? Our reading today in Isaiah 44:6-45 would tell us no. In an amazing display of God’s global involvement, we see something many simply do not realize.
More on that today on Through the Word in 2020 – as we continue reading Psalm 119:161–168; James 1:19–27; Luke 20:41–47 and Isaiah 44:6–45.
Some chapters in the Bible stand out as containing insight into reality that from day to day escapes us. Such are Isaiah 44-45.
As you might expect, these portions are written primarily concerning Israel and God’s dealing with this singular nation. Singular because He set Israel aside for Himself. It is the only nation He established uniquely as His own. That, despite claims by many others that they are uniquely His. Over the centuries, England, the United States of America and others have claimed similar unique status for themselves. But Biblically Israel stands alone in this regard.
It is all the more surprising then that Isaiah 45 opens with God addressing someone named Cyrus.
Now who was he? Who was this man whom God said He anointed to subdue nations as God’s agent? Well, he was a pagan King – King of the Persian empire. A man God raised up over a foreign throne while the Jews were in captivity under his rule. And the man God used to send His people back to Judea at the end of their 70 years of captivity.
Now the point of all this is simply that no nation, no ruler, King, President, Premier, Prime Minister or despot occupies their role apart from God’s notice, and even His employment.
When Cyrus decreed the Jews could go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, he also sent captives from other nations under his power back to their lands to re-establish the worship of their gods too. It appears he was hoping to build up as much divine favor for himself as he could – no matter what the source. He wanted ALL the gods on his side. Not just the One True God of Israel. And yet, in that action, prophecy for Israel was fulfilled, and God’s people were restored.
God can and will use any and all to accomplish His will. Just because you do not see a leader as the one you would hope for – doesn’t mean God has left off His plan, is sidetracked, stymied or stifled. As Proverbs 21:30 reminds us: “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.”
Never forget our Global God Christian. We are His and He is ours. Bought with the precious blood of Jesus. And however God may deal with our own nation, in blessing or in judgment, His people will remain His, and His purposes will yet be accomplished.
Christians in every nation on the planet are called to look to and trust Him in all He is doing. He is absent nowhere. And He has abandoned His own – never. Keep seeking His face.
As Revelation 17:14 and 19:16 remind us – our Jesus is the King of Kings. He is the Lord over all Lords.
Let that settle your soul today Beloved.
I’m Reid Ferguson.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.