If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Deuteronomy 18, Psalm 105, Isaiah 45, Revelation 15. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 45.
Long before Cyrus became the king of Persia, Isaiah wrote about him by name (vv. 1, 3d, 4c). In Isaiah’s prophecy, God called Cyrus “his anointed,” meaning that he was a man chosen to do the Lord’s will. In this case the Lord’s will was to return Israel to the promised land (v. 4a-b, 13c-d). Remarkably, God would use Cyrus to do this “though you do not acknowledge me” (v. 4e, 5d) and, as a result of what Cyrus would do, “…people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
In verses 9ff, the Lord anticipated an objection to this plan to use Cyrus. The unstated objection was, “How can God use a heathen king who does not serve the Lord to do his will? Why would God do that?” The answer was stated in verses 9-11 and could be summarized as, “None of your business.” Because God is the creator (v. 12), he has the right to do whatever he wants with his creation. If we dislike what God does, we have no right to judge him or question him. He is the potter, we are the clay (v. 9), he is the parent, we are the child (v. 10). We have no more right to question what God does, how he does it, or why he does it than a coffee cup has the right to question its maker or a child has to question his or her parents.
This is difficult for us to accept! Our perverse sin nature wants to put God on the same level as we are. We want a God we can understand, one we can control by telling him that his actions are unjust. We want God to be subject to a standard just as we are so that we can accuse him of failing to meet the objective standard. But God cannot be measured by an objective standard; he IS the standard. Because he is God, he has the right to do whatever he wants because whatever he wants and whatever he does will be perfectly consistent with his holy nature and character.
If you find yourself questioning God for something he allowed that you do not understand, or something he did that you found difficult to accept, you need a change of perspective. We may want God to explain himself to us, but he is under know obligation to do so. Since his wisdom is higher than ours, his understanding is perfect, and his ways are beyond our comprehension, the best thing we can do is trust him no matter what he does. Since God will never do anything that is unjust, we can be confident that what he does will be best—at least, in the long run of eternity it will be best. God will be glorified and that is the only thing that matters.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.