In this magnificent chapter the supremacy of the God of Israel is further demonstrated. First the nations (verses 1, 2) and then their gods (verses 21-29) are summoned before him, and challenged as to what counsel they can give, and what control they can exercise in regard to the world-shaking onward march of Cyrus. They know nothing and can do nothing. It is the holy One of Israel who alone can predict the future, for he has planned all, and brought it to pass. Let Israel lift up his head, for he is God’s elect and for him he has great purposes in view (verses 8-10).
- The nations in their fear make new idols (verses 5-7). How are these idols shown to be worthless (verses 23, 24, 28, 29)? The reference in verses 2 and 25 is to Cyrus; what is God’s relation to this mighty conqueror and to the events of history in general (verses 2-4, 25-27)?
- Tabulate the promises made to Israel in verses 8-20. How far and in what sense are they true for us today? Cf. 2 Cor. 1:20. In what measure have we tried and proved God’s promises?
- Verses 2, 3. Here the first actor is God, and the second is Cyrus.
- Verses 21-24. The idols are now summoned before God. Note how they are challenged.