We know what God has said about the future is true, because everything He said was going to take place in the past has proven to be true. Last week we learned of an interesting prophecy Isaiah revealed on the streets for three years, and this week we’re going to look at some amazing prophecies God gave to him about two individuals. We are very familiar with the first one.
Every Christmas we revisit Isaiah 7:14.“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” And during the Easter season we’re reminded that in Isaiah 53 we were told what Jesus was going to do for us long before He did it. “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”
Between the 7th and 53rd chapters we find some prophecies about another individual that some find even harder to believe than the prophecies about our Lord. The 44th chapter closes with these words: “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’” And in the 45th chapter we read, “I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me.”
Not only did Cyrus not know God, God called him by name 150 years before he sat on the throne of Persia. The record of him fulfilling all God said he would do is found in the closing verses of II Chronicles and Ezra.“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus.”
Jeremiah had revealed that the children of Israel would be allowed to return to Israel after 70 years of captivity, and the Jewish historian Josephus stated that the captives (Daniel was among them and may have been the primary spokesman) showed Cyrus the prophecies which contained his name and described his role in fulfilling the plans of God.
Our confidence in the future is rock solid, because as God told Isaiah, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
God Bless, Rick