Isaiah 45:8 says, “You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it. I the Lord have created it.”
There Is One God, No Other
Isaiah, was born in or somewhere close to Jerusalem, and spent his life on a mission for God. He was chosen to speak to Judah and Israel as they lived in open rebellion toward God, and his commandments.
Isaiah’s ministry extended over a period of at least forty years and possibly more; during which he married a prophetess and had two sons. (Isaiah 7:3; 8:3)
Chapter 45, from where we get our text was probably written toward the end of Isaiah’s ministry; between 701-681 B.C.
The Kingdom of God is a major theme in the book of Isaiah. God’s Kingdom is present and it’s king is righteous, and it’s subjects are righteous. The righteous ruler, who is God, establishes his kingdom. He choses and anoints prophets to disclose his character, and his will.
Thus, Isaiah the prophet was the voice of God speaking to Israel and Judah. Isaiah was a role model called to guide, lead, teach and compel human beings to conform to God’s will. God made a covenant with Israel; it was his will that Israel live in accordance with the terms of the covenant.
Isaiah 45:5 says, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” Here in this chapter, this is repeated at least seven times. Isaiah’s ministry bares testimony to the revelation that there is only one God, who is the creator of all things.
Isaiah 45:18 says, “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, there is no other.”
Note: Atheism is disbelief in, or denial of the existence of God or gods. The doctrine that there is no God or gods breeds godlessness; and immorality.
Agnosticism is someone who beliefs that there is no proof of the existence of God, but does not deny the possibility that God exist.
God reveals God to Isaiah. God discloses Himself. God makes it clear to Isaiah that there is no other God, and that God is the Creator of all that exist.
Righteous From Above
And so out text says, “You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down.”
This oracle/prophecy comes at a time when the cities of Judah, and Israel have been invaded, and conquered by the Assyrians. The people placed in captivity.
God allowed the Assyrians to conquer Judah and Israel as punishment for living lives of uncleanness, unholiness, idolatry; which created a state of moral perversion, violence, murder and oppression.
Isiah prophesies that after years in captivity God would anoint Cyrus (king of Persia), to rescue Judah and Israel from captivity. The righteous ruler redeems his people; he delivers them from Assyrian captivity, as Moses delivered his people from Egypt. (Isaiah 45:1)
Note: Isaiah oracle/prophesies is dated sometime around 701-681 B.C. Cyrus was born 590/589 B.C., almost 100 years later and defeated Babylon, setting in motion the end of Israel’s captivity and exile. God spoke to the prophets about future events. And as time passed those events unfolded.
Righteousness is present in the redemptive work of Yahweh; righteousness rains down form heaven. Righteousness is not born out of human conduct; it born out of God’s love and faithfulness. God who restores his people grants them the opportunity to conform to his nature, and adhere to a way of life that conforms to his will.
Righteousness is used 273 times in the Old Testament, and Isaiah uses it 58 times; it enters the human sphere to establish Israel as God’s chosen people; to establish a treasured relationship between God and his chosen people.
Righteousness is straight forward; it does not ware down. Psalms 71:15 says, My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.
Righteousness ushers human beings into God’s nature wherein their behavior reflects commitment, obedience and harmony with God’s covenant.
Theological Reflection: The language Isaiah uses is applicable to the coming reign of the Messiah. Jesus is our righteousness. Jesus came from haven to earth to fulfill all righteousness. Grace finds expression in righteousness that comes down from heaven in Jesus Christ; from grace we get peace with God. Also present in the righteousness of Jesus Christ is redemption, pardon of our sins, salvation and eternal life.
The text says, “let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it.”
The heavens, working together with the clouds shower the earth (human hearts) with righteousness. The earth opens wide receiving the righteousness that comes down like rain from the clouds. The righteousness springs up in the form of salvation; yes, salvation enters our hearts restoring our relationship with God.
Heaven and the earth conspire to bring forth salvation. Cyrus is the instrument of deliverance. Israel is redeemed from ignorance, error, sin and death by God’s anointing upon the lives of human beings.
Righteous springs up together with salvation; hearts are transformed into seats of holiness. Holiness opens the gate that leads to the kingdom of God, where the subjects/people have access to all the privileges and advantages of being sons and daughters of a loving God.
Verse 45, concludes with “I the Lord, have created it.” Together, righteous and salvation were created by God. Therefore, the people of God leaned not to expect salvation without righteousness, for they together come from above to facilitate redemption from sin and death.
Isaiah 45:7 says, “I form the light and create the darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the Lord do all these things.”
Isaiah’s oracle/prophecy here emphasizes God’s total control of history. Victory and defeat, prosperity and disaster alike come from God. God is free to govern creation according to his purposes, character, and will; which is love.
All Mighty God, you formed heaven and earth; you created them and all their inhabitants. God of all creation, you are in control. You control the sun that shines, you control the rain that falls, the wind that blows, the flowers that grow, the seasons wherein we get snow. Lord, you ordain the day that we are born, and the day that we die. You are God, and You alone are God, and there is no other God.
Lord God, we need you. We need you in Africa, North America, South America; the Caribbean, Australia, India, Europe, and Asia. Lord, bless us to see past race and ethnicity; and recognize our powerlessness. Satan, demons; greedy men and women have seizedB and control resources all over the world. They horde and stockpile the wealth and resources of the world for themselves. Father, anoint the poor and oppressed to take their seat at the table. And as we take our seat, empower us with voices of righteousness and salvation. May we forever be your chosen people, your covenant people, who strive to live in obedience and harmony with your design and purpose for creation. In Jesus name we pray. Amen