“Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the Lord, the First and the Last. I alone am he.”
The lands beyond the sea watch in fear. Remote lands tremble and mobilize for war. The idol makers encourage one another, saying to each other, “Be strong!”
The carver encourages the goldsmith, and the molder helps at the anvil. “Good,” they say. “It’s coming along fine.” Carefully they join the parts together, then fasten the thing in place so it won’t fall over.
“But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend, I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:4-10)
Each generation gets caught up in its own problems, but God’s plan embraces all generations. The nation of Israel figured heavily in God’s plan. God chose Israel through Abraham because he wanted to, not because the people deserved it (Deuteronomy 7:6-8; 9:4-6). Although God chose the Israelites to represent him in the world, they failed to do this; therefore God punished them and sent them into captivity. “This king from the east” (Isaiah 41:2; see also Isaiah 44:28) is Cyrus II of Persia, who would be king within a century and a half. He conquered Babylon in 539 b.c. and was responsible for the decree releasing the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem. God could use an unbelieving ruler like Cyrus to protect and care for Israel because God is in control of all world empires and politics.
God gives us assurance of his strength, help, and victory over sin and death. When you are concerned about the future, talk with God, who knows the generations of the future as well as he knows the generations of the past. He is the only one who sees 100 years from now as clearly as 100 years ago. He is also faithful to keep his promises.