Why Did You Make Me Like This?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, February 18, 2017 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Imagine if 150 years before you were born, there was a plan already in place for who you would be and what you would accomplish. Would that be refreshing to you? Would it feel constricting? What would you do - go with the plan, or fight against it? How would you feel toward to one who made the plan?

King Cyrus, or Cyrus the Great, is recorded in history as one of the greatest kings in the Middle East. His life and rule have been used as a model for teaching leadership in Greece, Iran, and many other nations. Cyrus is known for furthering human rights, being a military strategist, and for bringing together Eastern and Western cultures. He is also known for rescuing Israel from Babylon after 70 years of captivity, paving the way for the Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and helping Jews return to their homeland. All of these events were promised by God 150 years before Cyrus was even born, and Cyrus was named specifically. Take a few moments and read Isaiah 45.

Look at how God speaks of Cyrus, and look at the attitudes and beliefs that God challenges, even as He states His plan. Cyrus was a pagan king, raised in a pagan culture, and had no reason to honor or even listen to God. Israel was becoming influenced by the Babylonian culture and still struggled with worshipping other gods. And it's in this setting, where the culture has drifted far from God, that God speaks. People had even begun to redefine who God is and what His intentions were, and God gives them a promise to open their eyes again to the Truth.

God names the ruler that He will raise up and then reminds everyone that His ways are best. It's as if God is saying, “I know you are going to ask me why I raised up a pagan to do this job, why not a Jew?” And the way God gives perspective in the rest of the passage should make us stop and think about where we are in our culture.

There is a great word picture in verses 9-13 where God exposes the willfulness of humanity. Does a piece of clay say to the one who shaped it into something, “Why did you make me this way? You didn't make me, you have no hands!” Let that sink in for a moment.

In how many different ways are we as Americans making that very statement every day? In how many ways are we declaring that WE know better than God? Or that God made a mistake? Or that God changes His mind? (Or should change His mind?)

  Verse 11 says, “You ask me about things to come... and then command me concerning the work of my hands?” How often do we want to know our purpose, or an answer to a deep life question, and when God answers it we try to argue with Him about what it should be? Or worse yet, we reject Him because it's not the answer we wanted, and we put words in His mouth that express what we believe, but not what He has said.

Even as God makes a promise about Cyrus so that Israel will see clearly the plan God has for them, He also makes a promise to the rest of us in verses 18-25. All who look to other gods and other ideologies will not find a god who can deliver on these promises; they will be frustrated. And those who try to teach or make promises beyond what God has said will be reminded that there is only one God, who is just, who is all powerful, and who knows what is best.

Take time to reflect on verse 23, especially if you have believed what the culture and some teachers say about the Bible. God's Word is never revoked, it is never out of date, and His plans are never wrong.

Cyrus is just one example of many times God promised something and then made it happen exactly as He said. A God who predicts a king, by name and 150 years prior to his birth, declares that He will use that king to restore His people to their homeland, and then actually does it exactly as He said, should get our attention. A God who has done that countless times, and is the only God who can create, destroy, and set the boundaries of life and existence in His promises, is a God who should have our full attention.

Will you set aside your assumptions about God, and about the Bible, and take God at His Word? Will you tune out the chatter of our culture and the world long enough to hear what God said, examine His promises, and let Him show you who He is and what He meant? Will you allow yourself to be small enough to see how big God really is?

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