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|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Parry, Donald W.|
|Book Title||Old Testament Minute: Isaiah|
|Publisher||Book of Mormon Central|
|Keywords||Bible; Isaiah (Book); Isaiah (Prophet); Old Testament|
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Isaiah 45:7–13 The Lord’s Power and Supreme Power
The Lord God is all-powerful! With His unlimited power He can do anything! He created the heavens, the earth, and the humans on the earth (45:12); He governs everything in the heavens (45:12); and He has power over all—light and darkness, peace and calamity (45:7).
I form the light and create darkness. This phrase recalls the Creation (Genesis 1:3–4; see also Ezekiel 32:8). I make peace and create calamity. Our all-powerful God is in control of all things, including peace and calamity (the Hebrew word ra‘ is sometimes difficult to translate; it can mean “calamity,” “evil,” “of little worth,” “reprobate,” etc.).
let the skies rain down righteousness (see also Moses 7:62). Rain, which blesses the earth and its creatures and florae, here symbolizes “righteousness.” God sends righteousness to His creations as abundantly as He sends rains from the skies. Righteousness may include God’s revelations, truths, light, grace, mercy, and more. let the earth open, that salvation may sprout forth. These words refer to records coming forth from the earth; this includes the Book of Mormon, which teaches of God’s salvation.
Woe to him, a potsherd . . . who strives with his Fashioner. The potsherd (broken piece of pottery) symbolizes a person. Those who question the Lord in His works are as foolish as a potsherd that questions the work of the potter who made the pot. Your work has no hands. It is absurd for a created thing to claim that its creator has no hands. And yet, that is what humans do when they claim that God has no power to do His work. Contrast “no hands” with verse 12: “My hands stretched out the heavens.”
Woe to him [a child], who says to a father. Those who question the Lord’s doings are as rash as a child who questions its parents, “Why did you give birth to me?”
Holy One of Israel. Jehovah’s title sets forth that He is indeed “Holy” and that He is Israel’s “Holy One.” Ask me concerning things to come. Jehovah is unlike all humans and false gods because He knows the future and He commands His prophets to prophesy of future events.
I made the earth/I have created the human/My hands stretched out the heavens. These expressions set forth God’s omnipotence—He is all-powerful! (40:26; 42:5; 44:24).
he will build My city and set free My exiles. Verse 13 seems to have a dual meaning. “He will build My city” (Jerusalem) refers to king Cyrus (see 44:24–28; 45:1–6; see also Ezra 1:1–2, 7). But it also refers to Jesus Christ, who sets free those who are exiled from truth.
Lord of Hosts. Jehovah commands and oversees His hosts of angels.
Isaiah 45:14–17 Nations Will Acknowledge the Lord
Isaiah prophesies that nations will one day submit and bow down to covenant Israel, share their wealth, and “make supplications.” Representatives of these nations—“people of stature”—will acknowledge Israel’s God with these words: “Surely God is with you and there is none other save God” (45:14).
Egypt, Cush, and Sabeans. These nations symbolize all of earth’s nations that will recognize Israel and acknowledge the true and living God.
God who hides Yourself. The Lord is hidden from the wicked and rebellious; sometimes He is hidden to the righteous in order to try their faith (8:17; Psalms 10:1; 44:23–24; 88:14; Doctrine and Covenants 101:89; 121:1; 123:6). O God of Israel, the Savior. Isaiah testifies that the God of Israel is the Savior, who is Jesus Christ.
Those who make idols are ashamed, confounded, and “they walk in confusion.”
Israel is saved by the Lord. The Lord, Jesus Christ, will save Israel “with an everlasting salvation” (see also Doctrine and Covenants 43:25), and for all eternity, Israel “will not be shamed nor confounded.”
Isaiah 45:18–25 The Lord Is God of the Whole Earth
The Lord sets forth many of His divine roles and attributes, establishing that He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth (45:18), the Savior (45:21–22), and the “righteous God” 45:21), and that there is no God but Him (45:18, 21–22). Further, He is the Revealer who speaks “truth” and “righteousness,” not “darkness” and “chaos” (45:19, 23).
Lord, who created the heavens. God’s prophets often testify that the Lord is our Creator (Alma 18:28–34; 22:10–12; Mosiah 4:2, 9; Mormon 9:11). Once we realize that He is the Creator of heavens and earth, we can trust His power to create in us a pure heart. As the psalmist stated, “Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
seed of Jacob. The literal or spiritual descendants of Israel, the heirs of the covenant (3 Nephi 5:24–25; Mormon 7:10; Doctrine and Covenants 103:17).
Assemble yourselves and come. A reference to the gathering of Israel.
no other God beside Me. This important truth is stated three times in verses 21–22. Idols and false gods are not God.
all ends of the earth. God commands every part of the earth to turn to Him.
I have sworn by Myself. God takes an oath in His own name because there is none greater. We make covenants in God’s name because He is all-powerful. every knee will bow/every tongue will swear to Me. All of earth’s inhabitants, throughout the ages, will acknowledge God both through physical submission (bowing) and verbal testimony (see also Romans 14:10–12; Doctrine and Covenants 76:110–11). This will take place at the day of judgment (Mosiah 27:31; Doctrine and Covenants 88:104).
Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength! All humans, whether they acknowledge it or not, derive their strength (physical and spiritual) and righteousness from God. Verse 25 adds, “Through the Lord, all the seed of Israel will become righteous.”
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