“I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God but me. I will strengthen you [Cyrus, God’s chosen one in v. 1], though you do not know me, so that all may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is no one but me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I make success and create disaster; I am the LORD, who does these things” (Isaiah 45.5-7).
God chose a Persian king named Cyrus to restore Israel to the land after her exile in Babylon. Isaiah prophesied this event before Judah entered exile. God chose a Gentile king to deliver the children of Israel. He chose him even though Cyrus did not know Him. He chose him so that everyone in the world (from the rising of the sun to its setting) would come to know that God is the only true God. The preservation of the Jewish nation made the birth and death of Jesus Christ possible. This led to salvation for the world.
The LORD creates light and darkness …success and disaster. He does all those things. That is, everything is as it is because of the will of God. He is in control. It is unfortunate that a translation uses the word “evil” for “disaster” in this verse. God did not/does not create moral evil. Evil exists due to the rebellion of God’s creation. It is not a thing to be created but the hole which exists when something good is missing. A person lacks compassion or kindness for others. These things are missing. That is evil. A bullet, gun, or the finger that pulls the trigger are not evil things in themselves. But the connected relationship of these things committing murder is evil.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1.5). God is “without injustice” (Deuteronomy 32.4). My heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5.48). God is not the author of evil (sin, moral evil, perversity, direct agent, actual evil). God made people who are responsible for the evil in this world. God made evil possible when He made people who are free to make choices. People made evil actual; God made it possible. God only created good things. All He created was very good. Nothing was missing. One of the very good things He created was me with the power to freely choose. I turned against Him and produced evil. I meant evil; God meant good.
When disaster comes into my life, I see the hand of God at work in an evil and perverse generation. God is at work using even the evil for my good because I love Him. People who do not love God blame Him for evil. They fail to understand that they themselves are responsible for evil’s existence. God is not. God is good. He is eternally good. The wonderful blessing in my life is that since God is all-good, He is able to fortify me with what is missing in my life. I am able to put on the LORD Jesus Christ and put off the filthiness of this world. As a believer, I am now able to choose what is good.