Summary: When events or circumstances in our lives seem to be out of control, it is sometimes easy to wonder if God’s plan is really unfolding according to design. From the pages of Scripture, however, we are assured that God does know the future intimately. He e
With all that is happening in the world today, concern for the future is everywhere. There is speculation, anxiety, and uncertainty. The political realm is constantly changing, markets are always fluctuating, and our personal lives are affected by it all.
When events or circumstances in our lives seem to be out of control, it is sometimes easy to wonder if God’s plan is really unfolding according to design. From the pages of Scripture, however, we are assured that God does know the future intimately. This truth is clearly seen in the amazing prophetic announcement of a ruler named Cyrus. In Isaiah 45, we read about a great ruler by the name of Cyrus who lived between 580 to about 530 B.C. What is astounding is the fact that God told Isaiah all about Cyrus 176 years before Cyrus was even born. It is also amazing that Cyrus was a pagan king, and the Lord used him as His tool to bring about divine purposes.
"This is what the Lord says to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him, that the gates will not be closed: ... I call you by your name; I name you, though you do not know me. ... Ask me of things to come ... I have stirred him up in righteousness, And I will make all his ways level; he shall rebuild my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward, says the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 45:1-13).
For many years, ’higher education scholars’ who did not believe in divine prophecy taught that there must have been two authors of the book of Isaiah. They believed that there were actually two books that were put together under one author’s name—Isaiah. From the ancient manuscript scrolls, they taught that there was an original author whom they called ’Deutero-Isaiah,’ and then a later author simply named Isaiah. The reason for this theory was the naming of Cyrus in chapter 45. In their minds, chapter 45 had to have been an addition to the book of Isaiah because that was the only way to explain the name of Cyrus being written there. Again, for years, this was taught in seminaries around the world.
Then, in 1947, a young boy was looking for lost sheep in the hills of Israel by the Dead Sea. As the boy searched, he came across some caves and wondered if a lamb might have wandered inside. He threw a rock into the cave entrance to possibly scare the lamb out of the cave, but instead he heard the sound of pots breaking. As he investigated, he found amid the freshly broken pots, ancient scrolls. He took one to the city, and it was revealed to be part of a collection of very, very old scrolls that included the book of Isaiah. It was an historic discovery! What made this discovery so amazing was that the age of these ’Dead Sea Scrolls’ was 1000 years older than the oldest scrolls historians had to date.
As the scholars examined these newly discovered scrolls, they read the book of Isaiah and, to their astonishment, found the prophecy of Cyrus. The Dead Sea Scrolls ended the teaching of two authors of the book of Isaiah and affirmed that, indeed, God knows the future and directs its path.