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God the Innovator

August 23: God the Innovator
Isaiah 45:14–47:15
Innovators often say they learn more from their failures than their successes. The successes come as a result of repeated failures, whether in business or in life. We must learn from our mistakes if we are to expect a different, brighter future.
God expects us to learn from our failures—the depths of which we can best understand in comparison to the glory of His successes. God speaks about Himself not only to remind people of His abilities, but also to explain where His authority begins and theirs ends.
In Isaiah 45:1–2, God gave Cyrus a lesson in these boundaries—both by what He said and by what He did not say. Like other kings of the time, Cyrus would have thought himself godlike, but God’s detailed description of what He was about to do left Cyrus with no doubt about who was in charge:
“And I will give you the treasures of darkness and treasures of secret places so that you may know that I am Yahweh, the one who calls you by your name, the God of Israel, for the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen one. And I call you by your name; I give you a name of honor, though you do not know me” (Isa 45:3–4).
From Cyrus’ perspective, he had all authority and could accomplish all things. He did not yet know the Master Innovator who can reverse any situation and honor any person as an instrument in accomplishing His larger plan—to restore His people. God blessed Cyrus with wealth so that it would be easy for him to help God’s people. God exercised authority over the economy to create a new spiritual economy. Cyrus may have pointed to his achievements, but God had enabled them all. As God created the circumstances for Cyrus to succeed—and for His people to be blessed—He also showed the Israelites His perspective on failure and success. In His power and compassion, He could work in difficult and unexpected ways to bring about their redemption, despite their many failures. The Israelites may have gotten themselves into a horrible situation, but God could make a way to get them out.
What innovations is God making in your life story? In the process, is He teaching you to completely depend on Him?
John D. Barry

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