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Read Isaiah 45

45 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
    those who are nothing but potsherds
    among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
    ‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
    ‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
    ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
    ‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:
    I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
    and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

14 This is what the Lord says:

“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
    and those tall Sabeans—
they will come over to you
    and will be yours;
they will trudge behind you,
    coming over to you in chains.
They will bow down before you
    and plead with you, saying,
‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other;
    there is no other god.’”

15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself,
    the God and Savior of Israel.
16 All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced;
    they will go off into disgrace together.
17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord
    with an everlasting salvation;
you will never be put to shame or disgraced,
    to ages everlasting.

18 For this is what the Lord says—
he who created the heavens,
    he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
    he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
    but formed it to be inhabited—
he says:
“I am the Lord,
    and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
    from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
    ‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the Lord, speak the truth;
    I declare what is right.

20 “Gather together and come;
    assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,
    who pray to gods that cannot save.
21 Declare what is to be, present it—
    let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
    who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
    there is none but me.

22 “Turn to me and be saved,
    all you ends of the earth;
    for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
    will come to him and be put to shame.
25 But all the descendants of Israel
    will find deliverance in the Lord
    and will make their boast in him.

Go Deeper

God can use all people at all times to accomplish His will. We see this displayed through the prophecy of the restoration of Israel through a king named Cyrus. Cyrus was the king of Persia from 559-530 BC, and it was under his reign that the Israelites were able to return after 70 years of captivity. This is one of the most incredible prophecies of all of scripture! Cyrus was prophesied about by name in Isaiah 150 years before He ever lived. The Lord says about King Cyrus, “I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me” (v. 4). Cyrus was a pagan king that did not know the Lord, and God used him to free the Jewish people from captivity. This prophecy is eventually fulfilled in the book of 2 Chronicles 36 where Cyrus issues a decree to let the Israelites return, and even helps them in rebuilding the temple. God proves Proverbs 21:1 to be true, that “a king’s heart is like channeled water” in His hands. 

God’s relationship with Israel is also symbolized as clay in a potter’s hands. God says to Israel, “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands?’” (v. 9) Isaiah admonished Israel for believing that they knew better than the Creator of all things. This same imagery is clearly illustrated in Jeremiah 18 in the parable of the potter. God tells Jeremiah to go to a potter’s house in order to depict His relationship with His people saying that “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel” (18:6). 

God is the potter, and we are His clay. Knowing that God is the Maker of everything and sovereign over all things should make us hesitant to oppose Him (v. 12). As clay, it is foolish to contend against our molder because He has power over all things. As clay, it is foolish to doubt God’s wisdom because He is all-knowing. As clay, it is foolish to rebel against our God because He desires what is best for us. As clay, we are nothing without Him. Just as a branch is nothing without a vine, clay is nothing without a potter. 

Let this also be a reminder today that we were made by the world’s greatest artist: God. We are His masterpiece, made with incredible intention and purpose to do the good works that He prepared in advance for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). He created us in His image, and because of that we have infinite value and worth. His precious thoughts about us are more numerous than the grains of sand on this earth (Psalm 139:17-18). God loves us so deeply that He sent His one and only son to die for us. We can confidently know who we are when we confidently know the Creator who made us. As moldable and powerless clay before the Lord, we should surrender our plans for His knowing His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Let us put our hope, our trust, and our worth in our molder today; our greatest fulfillment is in Him!


  1. What does it look like for you to be moldable clay in the hands of the Maker?  
  2. Are there any areas in your life where you believe you know better than God? 
  3. What is something that God created that you could praise Him for today? 

Listen Here

Listen to the song “Canvas and Clay” by Pat Barrett as you reflect on this passage.

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5 thoughts on “Isaiah 45”

  1. As we read scripture carefully & completely, we can be confident that it we are beholding the divinely inspired word of God that can literally change our lives. He is exactly who he declares and confirms that indeed he is the Lord and there is no other god besides him. What he requires is that we acknowledge him as Lord. V24 & 25 says “In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength. All the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the Lord and make their boast in him.” How astonishing that through the Messiah, God lavished his favor on all people that we might enter into an everlasting, covenant relationship with him. He uses all means to draw our hearts to his, even a pagan Gentile ruler like Cyrus!

  2. The Word, a word, we have words because God gave us THE WORD. Speech is the way to communicate and God gave us the ability to speak and have thoughts to worship Him. So what comes to your mind when you think about God? First thought? Do you see Him high and lifted up or a guy who just tells you what to do and then gets mad? I think that Israel thought He was just that guy being bossy so they made idols because they couldnt talk. BUT GOD still loved and made the way so that they before us had the opportunity to do it right again then through Jesus, you and I could learn, think and choose with the Word as a guide to who God is and what He is about. The more I truly seek, learn and understand with my heart knowledge the more I am amazed that the God of the Universe wants a relationship with me.

    God You are mighty to be praised, loved and highly lifted up. Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord God Almighty. Thank You for loving me. Your perfect love cast out all fear and I will love because You first loved me. Help me see others through Your love goggles and guide me to speaking, doing or giving them what it is You need for me to today in Jesus name amen.

  3. Wonderful written commentary!! “As clay, it is foolish to doubt God’s wisdom because He is all-knowing. As clay, it is foolish to rebel against our God because He desires what is best for us. As clay, we are nothing without Him. Just as a branch is nothing without a vine, clay is nothing without a potter.”
    This is what has taken me half a century to realize and humbly bow to. I still struggle in this area-a lot.
    I cannot not include the old hymn, “Have Thine Own Way” inspired by a prayer from an elderly woman during prayer meeting. Miss Potter longed to be a missionary, and through that elderly woman —Potter found inspiration to write the hymn, and self-reflection for the will of God in her own life. No doubt God used that elderly woman to accomplish His will as well.

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