1 This is what Yahveh says to his chosen one, to Cyrus, whose right hand I hold in order to restrain nations before him, and disarm kings, to open doors before him, so gates remain unclosed: 2 “I will go before you and level mountains. I will shatter bronze doors and I will hack through iron bars. 3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stashed away in secret places, so you may recognize that I am Yahveh, the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel. 4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, Israel, my chosen one, I call you by name and give you a title of respect, even though you do not recognize me. 5 I am Yahveh, I have no peer, there is no God but me. I arm you for battle, even though you do not recognize me. 6 I do this so people will recognize from east to west that there is no God but me; I am Yahveh, I have no peer. 7 I am the one who forms light and creates darkness; the one who brings about peace and creates calamity. I am Yahveh, who accomplishes all these things. 8 O sky, rain down from above! Let the clouds send down showers of deliverance! Let the earth absorb it so deliverance may grow, and deliverance may sprout up along with it. I, Yahveh, create it. 9 One who argues with his creator is in big trouble, one who is like a mere scrap among the other scraps on the ground! The clay should not say to the potter, “What in the world are you making? Your work lacks skill!” 10 Danger awaits one who says to his father, “Who in the world are you fathering?” and to his mother, “Who in the world are you bringing forth?” 11 This is what Yahveh says, the sovereign king of Israel, the one who formed him, concerning things to come: “How dare you question me about my children! How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my own hands! 12 I made the earth, I created the people who live on it. It was me–my hands stretched out the sky, I give orders to all the sky’s lights. 13 It is me–I stir him up and commission him; I will make all his roads level. He will rebuild my city; he will send my exiled people home, but not for a price or a bribe,” says Yahveh, who leads armies. 14 This is what Yahveh says: “The profit of Egypt and the revenue of Ethiopia, along with the Sabeans, those tall men, will be brought to you and become yours. They will walk behind you, following along in chains. They will bow down to you and pray to you: ‘Truly God is with you; he has no peer; there is no other God!'” 15 Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden, O God of Israel, deliverer! 16 They will all be ashamed and embarrassed; those who fashion idols will all be humiliated. 17 Israel will be delivered once and for all by Yahveh; you will never again be ashamed or humiliated. 18 For this is what Yahveh says, the one who created the sky– he is the true God, the one who formed the earth and made it; he established it, he did not create it without order, he formed it to be inhabited– “I am Yahveh, I have no peer. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in some hidden place. I did not tell Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I am Yahveh, the one who speaks openly, who makes reliable announcements.
here’s my right hand
The great empire of Babylon — that impenetrable fortress that conquered the earth — was itself to be conquered. The prophet not only knew that this was going to happen, he knew how it was to happen . He also knew who would be God’s instrument — his anointed — to accomplish his will. His name would be Cyrus. This is not prophecy after the fact. The whole point Isaiah is making is that God challenges the nations to give up their useless idols and follow him. Why? … because he is God, and he can save his people. He can take a future Gentile king, call him by name (3-4), take him by the right hand (1) and cause him to conquer the world. God will do this in spite of the fact that Cyrus does not know him (4). He does it “so people will recognize from east to west that there is no God but” him. (6).
This same Yahveh wants to take us by the hand and accomplish his will. Will we let him?
LORD, take us by the hand as you did to Cyrus. accomplish your will through us.