Isaiah 45:20-25 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. Why does the Lord call men to turn to Him? See Isaiah 45:21-22 (printed below)

Declare and present your proofs; indeed, let them take counsel together! Who foretold this from the distant past? Who declared it long ago? Was it not I, Jehovah? There is no other God besides me. I am a just God and a Savior—there is none besides me. (22) Turn to me and be saved, you people from all the ends of the earth; because I am God, and there is none other. (Isaiah 45:21-22)

The Lord calls men to turn to Him because He alone is God. He declares, “I am God, and there is none other” (verse 22). Also in verse 21 the Lord proclaims, “There is no other God besides me.” It is not true that the whole world worships the same God, merely calling Him by different names and serving Him in different ways. On the contrary, the Lord contrasts Himself to the so-called gods of this world and calls men to turn unto Him, declaring that He alone is God.

2. According to Romans 1:21-23 and 25 (printed below), what has sinful man done?

…although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him… (22)…they became fools (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles… (25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:21a, 22b, 23, 25)

According to Romans 1, men have refused to glorify the living God or give Him thanks. On the contrary, instead of worshiping the God who is their Creator, sinful mankind has chosen to worship and serve created things—and man fashions images in the likeness of those things to assist him in his apostate worship.

3. How does the Lord describe the idols of men in Isaiah 45:20 (printed below?) How does the apostle Paul describe the spiritual power behind the idols? See 1 Corinthians 10:20 (printed below)

Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Those who carry around their wooden idols have no understanding, those who pray to gods that cannot save. (Isaiah 45:20)

What I am telling you is that the sacrifices of the Gentiles are being offered to demons, not to God; and I do not want you to have communion with demons (1 Corinthians 10:20)

The Lord describes the idols of men for what they are, blocks of wood that are lifeless. All such “gods” are powerless to save. Although the idols themselves are lifeless blocks of wood or carved stone, the Scriptures recognize that there is a very real spiritual power behind the idols. But that spiritual power is not divine; it is demonic. The apostle Paul declares that the pagan Gentiles are actually, though unwittingly, engaged in the worship of demons when they engage in their idolatrous worship.

4. What does the Lord offer those who turn to Him? See Isaiah 45:22a (printed below) How does the New Testament present this offer? See Romans 3:25-26 and 1 Timothy 2:5 (printed below)

Turn to me and be saved, you people from all the ends of the earth (Isaiah 45:22a)

God presented Christ Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement…He did this to demonstrate his justice, (26) …so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:25-26)

…there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men (1 Timothy 2:5)

To those who turn to Him, the Lord offers salvation. He proclaims, “Turn to me and be saved.” He asserts that He is “a just God and a Savior.” The New Testament (see Romans 3:25-26) reveals that the Lord God is able to be both just and merciful because of the atoning work of Christ Jesus. In His mercy, God the Father has given His holy Son to be the sacrifice that satisfied the divine justice on behalf of all those who receive Him as their Savior. In 1Timothy 2:5 the apostle Paul asserts that the only way to be reconciled to the God of heaven, the true and living God, is by means of His Son Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus is the only Mediator between God and men.

5. What oath does the Lord swear in Isaiah 45:23 (printed below?) What does this tell us about the Lord’s character? What does this tell us about one important element of true worship? Note Matthew 4:10 (printed below)

I have sworn by myself, with complete integrity my mouth has uttered a word that will not be revoked: Every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess that I am God. (Isaiah 45:23)

Then Jesus said to him, Get away from me, Satan! for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. (Matthew 4:10)

The Lord has sworn by Himself that every knee shall bow before Him and every tongue shall acknowledge that He is the Lord. The Lord is a jealous God, He will not tolerate the giving to any other the worship due Him; He will not tolerate the giving to any other the devotion due Him. Note that one important element of true worship is devotion (see Matthew 4:10 and also Matthew 22:37-38). Indeed, devotion is one of the greatest expressions of worship; worship apart from devotion is empty and hollow, it is detestable to God; the Lord demands that He be the first and the supreme object of our devotion.