Remember This, Stand Firm and Recall It to Mind (Isaiah 46:9-11)
Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ [11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.] —Isaiah 46:9-11
Babylon, the exalted instrument of God’s judgment now falls to Cyrus, the emperor of Persia. The impotence of the great Babylonian gods, Bel and Nebo, is exposed as they are carried off as burdens on weary beasts (Isaiah 46:1). As Babylon once was, now Cyrus is the appointed “bird of prey” (46:11) carrying out God’s unstoppable purpose. Israel’s seventy-year captivity is coming to an end and the prophet exhorts the exiles to remember and stand firm on the glorious truth of Isaiah 46:9-11.
I am God and there is no other I am God and there is none like me. Time and time again the gods of this world have been exposed for the frauds that they are. They cannot compare to God almighty and they cannot stand against him. When all else is giving way, those resting in the rock-solid assurance that God alone is God will never be shaken .
Three rock-solid truths give us a firm place to stand and offer us great hope when the circumstances of our lives threaten to overwhelm us.
1. God declares the future.
“declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done”(46:10).
We are often caught by surprise. In an instant we can be shaken by unforeseen circumstances. A momentary lapse in judgment and a wife is widowed and her children are fatherless. One day-a routine check-up and the next day, a cancer patient. One moment a vice president with a promising future and the next moment a casualty of reorganization. God confronts no unexpected circumstances. He knows exactly what is coming and he has known it from the beginning.
2. There is design and purpose in all that God does.
“I have purposed” (46:11).
God knows what is coming because what is coming is according to plan. His plan. When circumstances make no sense to us we stand firm in confidence that they make sense to Him who planned them. There is reason behind the circumstances in our lives that appear to have no reason. There is sense to what seems senseless. There is a point to what seems to the pointless. There is intention in what appears irrational and wisdom in what seems absurd. God does not act capriciously Rest assured there is purpose in all that he ordains.
3.God’s purpose cannot be thwarted.
"My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…(46:10). I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it" (46:11).
Human plans are easily and often thwarted. Unlike God we are limited in what we know
and limited in what we can do and limited in what we can control. God has no such limitations. Nothing exceeds his power.Nothing is outside of God’s control. He speaks and Cyrus, the most powerful man in the world yields to his bidding. Mountains move at his command.
The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting (Psalm 50:1).
As Isaiah 46 ends, Yahweh reveals where his unthwartable purpose was heading.
“Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory (Isaiah 46:12-13). Freedom from the captivity of Babylon was a mere foretaste of freedom from the captivity of sin. As Cyrus was sent to break the yoke of Israel’s slavery so the Son of God was coming to break the yoke of our bondage and bring salvation to Zion. Unreachable righteousness was coming near! Salvation was coming to Isreal!
His counsel stood and his purpose accomplished through our Lord Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory forever and ever!