Friday, May 20, 2005

God can use anyone: Is 45:3-5

"I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me." (Isaiah 45:3-5)
God is speaking of King Cyrus who, many years in the future, would restore the captivity of Judah and would order the rebuilding of Jerusalem. "He will build My city and will let My exiles go free, without any payment or reward." (Isaiah 45:13) Almost 160 years before his birth, God calls him by name. Before he is born, God appoints for him a destiny and a calling. Isaiah's prophesies of King Cyrus, and the fulfillment of those prophesies 160 years later, is intended by God to confirm to all men that, "from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other." (Isaiah 45:6) What other God foretold the coming of Cyrus by name and his many acts? No one! Our God alone knows the future!

This scripture also shows us that God can use anyone. God chose to use Cyrus, even though he did not know Him. Sometimes we think that God can only use super spiritual people. This can sometimes lead to the "Man of God" syndrome, where we believe that God only uses a select group of elite Christians. But God can use anyone. In the book of Numbers, God used a donkey to speak to Balaam. In the Book of Joshua, God used a harlot to save the spies who came to spy out Jericho. And in the Book of John, God used Caiaphas to prophesy that Jesus would die for the nation.

So, where do you look to hear God? Is it during the sermon on Sunday morning? Is it while you pray or read your Bible? God does speak to us in these ways. But God may also speak to us in ways and through people we don't expect. It could be a comment from our neighbor. It could be a concern of a coworker. It could be a plea from a family member. Let us not limit God in how He can speak to us. Let us learn to always be listening to God, to hear Him in what ever way He should choose to speak.

David Robison