Surely, shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength "Saying, Only to Jehovah belongeth salvation and power" - A MS. omits לי li, unto me; and instead of אמר לי li amar, he said or shall say unto me, the Septuagint read, in the copy which they used, לאמר lemor, saying. For יבא yabo, He shall come, in the singular, twelve MSS. three ancient) read יבאו yabeu, plural; and a letter is erased at the end of the word in two others: and so the Alexandrine copy of the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read it. For צדקות tsedakoth plural, two MSS. read צדקת tsidkath, singular; and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Chaldee.
Probably these are the words of Cyrus, who acknowledged that all his success came from Jehovah. And this sentiment is in effect contained in his decree or proclamation, Ezra 1:2; : "Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, "etc.
Surely, shall one say - Margin, ‹He shall say of me, In the Lord is all righteousness and strength.‘ The design of the verse is, to set forth more fully the effect of the prevalence of the true religion; and the main thought is, that there shall be an universal acknowledgment that salvation and strength were in Yahweh alone. Idols and people could not save; and salvation was to be traced to Yahweh only. A literal translation of the passage would be, ‹Truly in Jehovah, he said unto me,‘ or it is said unto me, that is, I heard it said, ‹is righteousness and strength,‘ that is, this would be everywhere the prevailing sentiment that righteousness and strength were to be found in Yahweh alone. The sense is, first, that it was by him alone that they could be pardoned and justified; and, secondly, that it was by him alone that they could obtain strength to meet their enemies, to overcome their sins, to discharge their duties, to encounter temptations, to hear afflictions, and to support them in death. These two things, righteousness and strength, are all that man needs. The whole of religion consists essentially in the feeling that righteousness and strength are to be found in God our Saviour. The Septuagint renders this, ‹Every tongue shall swear to God, saying, Righteousness and glory shall come unto him, and all those who make distinctions among them shall be ashamed.‘
Even to him shall men come - For the purpose of being saved (see the notes at Isaiah 2:3).
And all that are incensed against him - All that are opposed to his government and laws.
Shall be ashamed - (See the note at Isaiah 45:16). The enemies of God shall see their own feebleness and folly; and they shall be ashamed that they have endeavored to oppose one so mighty and so glorious as the living God. The multitudes that have in various ways resisted him shall see the folly of their course, and be overwhelmed with shame that they have dared to lift the hand against the God that made the heavens. Jarchi renders this, ‹All who have opposed themselves to God, shall come to him, led by penitence on account of the things which they have done, and shall be ashamed.‘
Not alone for men in positions of large responsibility is the lesson of Elijah's experience in learning anew how to trust God in the hour of trial. He who was Elijah's strength is strong to uphold every struggling child of His, no matter how weak. Of everyone He expects loyalty, and to everyone He grants power according to the need. In his own strength man is strengthless; but in the might of God he may be strong to overcome evil and to help others to overcome. Satan can never gain advantage of him who makes God his defense. “Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” Isaiah 45:24. PK 175.1
Fellow Christian, Satan knows your weakness; therefore cling to Jesus. Abiding in God's love, you may stand every test. The righteousness of Christ alone can give you power to stem the tide of evil that is sweeping over the world. Bring faith into your experience. Faith lightens every burden, relieves every weariness. Providences that are now mysterious you may solve by continued trust in God. Walk by faith in the path He marks out. Trials will come, but go forward. This will strengthen your faith and fit you for service. The records of sacred history are written, not merely that we may read and wonder, but that the same faith which wrought in God's servants of old may work in us. In no less marked manner will the Lord work now, wherever there are hearts of faith to be channels of His power. PK 175.2
To us, as to Peter, the word is spoken, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Luke 22:31, 32. Christ will never abandon those for whom He has died. We may leave Him and be overwhelmed with temptation, but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life. Could our spiritual vision be quickened, we should see souls bowed under oppression and burdened with grief, pressed as a cart beneath sheaves, and ready to die in discouragement. We should see angels flying quickly to the aid of these tempted ones, forcing back the hosts of evil that encompass them, and placing their feet on the sure foundation. The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend. PK 175.3Read in context »
More than fourteen centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the children of Israel gathered in the fair vale of Shechem, and from the mountains on either side the voices of the priests were heard proclaiming the blessings and the curses—“a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God: ... and a curse, if ye will not obey.” Deuteronomy 11:27, 28. And thus the mountain from which the words of benediction were spoken came to be known as the mount of blessing. But it was not upon Gerizim that the words were spoken which have come as a benediction to a sinning and sorrowing world. Israel fell short of the high ideal which had been set before her. Another than Joshua must guide His people to the true rest of faith. No longer is Gerizim known as the mount of the Beatitudes, but that unnamed mountain beside the Lake of Gennesaret, where Jesus spoke the words of blessing to His disciples and the multitude. MB 1.1
Let us in imagination go back to that scene, and, as we sit with the disciples on the mountainside, enter into the thoughts and feelings that filled their hearts. Understanding what the words of Jesus meant to those who heard them, we may discern in them a new vividness and beauty, and may also gather for ourselves their deeper lessons. MB 1.2Read in context »