Isaiah 45 is a striking account of the sovereignty of God. At the end of chapter 44, King Cyrus of Persia is named as God’s instrument, “my shepherd, [who] shall fulfill my purpose.” He is the pagan king God used, after Persia defeated Babylon, to return His people to Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile.
“Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, ‘I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.'” Isaiah 45:1-7
It is easy to hear opinions, and come up with our own, about why the stock market or kings and kingdoms rise or fall, why treaties are crafted or broken, why populists are gaining traction, why economies grow or slow; but in the Bible the reason is clear: God is in charge. “I am the LORD, who does all these things.” “You are God the LORD, and there is no other.” “You speak the truth, and declare what is right.” All Your deeds reflect your orderly, powerful control, and work toward accomplishing Your ends, that we might learn to trace Your hand, understand Your ways, and know You.
Psalm 105 recounts God’s providential hand with Joseph, and Moses, fulfilling His “holy promises” to His people. “Great and amazing are your deeds, O God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!” “I am God, and there is no other. My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” (Revelations 15:3; Isaiah 46:9-11)
King of kings, You know the captivity, the waiting, the wrestling. You understand, allow, and even guide our strategies, preparations, initiatives, solutions. You perfectly orchestrate all circumstances to bring about Your good will. Turn anxiety and hypotheticals to glad surrender to Your sovereign, righteous rule, and align our most earnest efforts and striving with Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)