Early this morning during my quiet time I was huddled up on my bed with all my favorite blankets and pillows reading my large print (in other words way huge and way heavy) Life Application Bible in the New Living Translation.
I was in Isaiah 45. And the words create, creates, makes, created, and Creator were all over the passage.
God is addressing a ruler named Cyrus - the only Gentile ruler in the Bible said to be anointed by Him. God tells Cyrus that He is using him and orchestrating Cyrus' life for His own glorious purposes. Indeed, Cyrus - gentile ruler of a vast empire - allowed Jerusalem to be rebuilt and allowed the exiles to be set free with no strings attached. That was unheard of. Few kings of Israel or Judah had done as much for God's people.
Then God "has a talking to" as we say in the South with Cyrus in this chapter. It seems God was intent on shushing any of Cyrus' complaints about why he was created, or how he was created ... why he was used or how he was used ... or the circumstances of his life both good and bad.
Can't we all use a talking to like that from time to time?
Read Isaiah 45:1-15 online or in your Bible. Here's some excerpts:
vs. 7 "I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things."
vs. 9 "What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’"
vs.10 "How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, ‘Why was I born?’ or if it said to its mother, ‘Why did you make me this way?’"
This is one of those passages that reminds me I am the created. It reminds me that God has a total sovereign right to do anything He likes with my life. And I have exactly no rights to complain about it. My pastor and current co-author Mike Ashcraft is fond of saying, "If God created life, He alone gets to define it."
This is one of those passages that shuts my mouth - which is a really good thing. It's centering to be still and quiet before your God - receiving His loving reorientation (a "talking to") and reaching a place of peace about your lot in life.
Which for Cyrus was a really good lot all in all.
And for me it is as well. I am humbled and even slightly teary cocooned here in my blankets as I reach that conclusion. It is good and freeing to be the created - in the hands of a merciful God.
After all, in Isaiah 44:21-22 He says:
“Pay attention, O Isreal, for you are my servant. I, the LORD, made you, and I will not forget to help you. I have swept away your sins like the morning mists. I have scattered your offenses like the clouds. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
Do you have someone that holds you accountable for spending time reading the Bible regularly? I have a group of three gals that do this for me. Meet one of them here and learn more about how that works for us.