Thu Aug 17-You Can’t Trust an Idol Worshipper-Or Can You?

Isaiah 45:20-25 (CEB)

20 Gather and come,
    draw near together,
    fugitives of the nations!
Those who carry their wooden idols don’t know;
    those who pray to a god who won’t save.
21 Announce! Approach! Confer together!
    Who proclaimed this from the beginning, announced it from long ago?
Wasn’t it I, the Lord?
    There’s no other God except me,
    a righteous God and a savior;
    there’s none besides me!
22 Turn to me and be saved,
    all you ends of the earth,
    for I am God, and there’s no other.
23 I have sworn a solemn pledge;
    a word has left my mouth;
    it is reliable and won’t fail.
Surely every knee will bow
and every tongue will confess;
24     they will say, “Righteousness and strength come only from the Lord.
    All who are angry with him will come to shame.
25 All the Israelites
    will be victorious and rejoice.”


In the beginning of chapter 45 we read that God sent Cyrus to free the Jews from Babylon. I had to do a little research because even though I think personal stories of history can be very interesting, and history in general is important to know, I do not know much about specifics of any history and did not know who Cyrus was. Cyrus the Great was the king who overthrew Babylon, thus allowing the exiled Jews in Babylon to return home. Cyrus was not a believer in God according to the earlier verses in the chapter, but God used Cyrus to complete a goal, to show that God is God and anyone from any nation can be used to further God’s purpose.

God says fugitives, idol worshippers etc. should come together and see that God is God. God is the Savior. God is reliable. You have probably seen the cartoon of the person on a roof waiting to be rescued from a flood. The person prays to God to save them. Along comes a person in a canoe, then a motorboat, then a helicopter, but the stranded person rejects them all because they are waiting for God to come. When the person goes to Heaven, they ask God why there was no saving, and God of course says, “But I sent all of those people to help you!” This is a ridiculous story about how we can get bogged down in our beliefs – not about what God CAN do – but about what God SHOULD do. We use our judgement of those who don’t worship like we do, or who aren’t Christian, and wonder how they can help us on our journey of getting closer to God.

Especially in these divisive times, we can be hesitant to rely on someone who is outside of our circle or comfort zone. This passage also shows us – just like Peter asking Jesus to help him walk on the water to prove it was Jesus – that God will use unexpected people and scenarios to prove that God is God. Shouldn’t we be prepared to see things from others we might not expect when we ask God to be involved? We may be surprised who God sends, but we should not reject them. Oh, we may need to do a little more praying for confirmation in our human minds, but we should not overlook what God may have in the works for us.

by Janet Waryck

For Pondering & Prayer

Gather and come, draw near together, fugitives of the nations! (v. 20) Can we announce, approach, and confer together and see that there is none like God? (v. 21) Can we watch for and be prepared for unexpected but needed help in our lives so that we may in turn witness and give thanks to God?

Prayer: We know that you are the God of all people, to the ends of the earth. Help us to open our hearts and lives to all of your people everywhere and not to miss opportunities that you give to us to share. Amen.

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