#35 for November 1
Is God powerful enough to be in charge of our lives?
Is he wise enough to direct our steps?
Many of us can relate to the Israelites when they were captives in Babylon. They certainly must have pondered these questions.
Isaiah had given a prophecy which encouraged the captives in Babylon to believe God is powerful enough to make possible their return to their own land. He encouraged them to trust him.
Then He proved his power by keeping his promise to free them. Cyrus, King of Persia, founder of the great Persian empire, captured Babylon in 539 B.C. and subsequently declared the Jews were free to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The Jews had been captive 70 years. (Isaiah had written this chapter 150 years earlier. See 2 Chron.36:15-23, Isa. 41:25, Ezra 1:1-14).
The fact that God stirred up Cyrus, King of Persia to conquer the nations, and that God still continues to direct the affairs of men, is given as a proof of God’s Sovereignty. Pagan nations make idols and expect them to help them, but they can’t. According to Isaiah, God is in charge.
They needed to decide who’s in charge of their lives. So do we. Is it God or someone or something else? If God is omnipotent and omniscient as pointed out in these scriptures, shouldn’t we allow him to be in charge of our lives? Almighty God, who created Israel and all of us, calls them (and us) back from rebellion.
He has chosen not only to redeem us but also to use, as his instruments, all who yield to his will. “But as for you, O Israel, you are mine, my chosen ones; for you are Abraham’s family, and he was my friend. I have called you back from the ends of the earth and said you must serve but me alone, for I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand,” (Isaiah 41:8-9, LB).
—Judith Vander Wege