Ever read names in the Bible but never paid much attention to who they really were and the implications thereof? Ever read the below verse before?
1“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of,to subdue nations before him, and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him, so that gates will not be shut: 2 I will go before you and will level the mountains. I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. 4 For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. 5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,6 so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things...Isaiah 45:1-7
Yes, Cyrus, King of Persia (today known as Iran) or commonly known as Cyrus, the Great was the one being referred to in the paragraph above. His name struck me as I read through the last two paragraphs of the last chapter of 2nd Chronicles. The first mention of this prophecy is actually in Isaiah 44:28. I must confess my ears have not heard of preachings about this king neither paid attention to his name in the Bible before. Or perhaps I just never paid much attention🤔😨😱😉!!
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’” 2Chronicles 36:22-23
Am not sure if by reading the two portions of the verses above, you see what I see or feel what I feel right now. The prophecy detail continues in Ezra 1:1-11.Weren’t there Israelite kings available to build the Lord’s temple, keeping in mind he was a “heathen”? Isaiah 45:4-5 clearly states twice that Cyrus did not acknowledge God. Did God have to put in the effort to send a prophecy about this man many years before his birth? What was so special about him? The two books of Chronicles have detailed out various kings with different histories as I pointed out in a previous post. So to have this king as the last one mentioned in the very last chapter must be of some significance, I believe.
The internet has various accounts of this king plus the prophecy interpretations but I choose to speak out on what I think based only on the Bible verses. Am not a theologian or anything, just a curious being and lately, having an inclination to history. Some accounts refer to him as the “messiah”.Well, the verses clearly call Cyrus the “anointed” and the only non-Jewish to be called so in the Bible, I must say. For God to call you by that name only means that definitely you are as He is the source. Messiah can be translated as a deliverer or saviour. But specifically in the Bible, Cyrus was to be the “messiah” of the Jewish people. Please note this was the era when the Israelites came out of captivity in Babylon under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. So the remnant that were taken to exile stayed in captivity for 70 years as per God’s word through Jeremiah.
What stands out for me is God’s Omnipresent and Omnipowerful attributes. It did not matter how many years it took, but He ensured that His word does not go back to Him in vain. For the fact that He speaks, He then fulfills. So it was not about how special Cyrus was but it was how favoured the people he was helping were, the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham and Jacob. God had covenants with these two that needed fulfilling which truly did and presently is still being fulfilled.
I was more touched by this story to see that all the events happened to fulfill this prophecy was because of one thing and one thing only. El Shaddai moved each person. For the sake of fulfilling His word and promises, the Great I AM moved the heart of a man who did not even worship Him. God also moved some of the Israelites to believe Cyrus proclamation that Yahweh had sent him and they obeyed the instructions to build the temple of Jerusalem. At this point there is need to acknowledge that Jesus, the Messiah of not only the Jewish but the whole world had to leave his heavenly glory to come to earth to accomplish the ultimate saving plan. Can this mean you cannot save yourself that someone else with a special anointing is the one who can help you out of a pit? Or even when the times you do have the strength and will, where will it come from if not from the Creator and Giver of all things? I mean how can you deliver yourself if you are the same person with the problem? Am reminded of directors in companies who believe consultants’ reports and recommendations other than their own managers in solving of crisis. What about local companies that hire expatriates to move them to the next level of growth or from a poor performance? Can we say that the verse “…no prophet is honored in his own hometown” applies here then?
After all is said and done, am left with hope for me. For my life and future even after this world comes to an end. That Jehovah never sleeps nor slumbers. We may have a strong enemy but God is way way greater. He creates and was never created. He is both merciful and faithful no matter how low I fail in life. He is the Alpha and Omega. My prayer then becomes that He moves in me. I pray that my heart is moved so strongly to empower me fulfill the purpose of my life. Undoubtedly my own flesh cannot get me to my destination. Am in need of more filling of the Helper to guide me through this journey. All am saying is that I need the move of God in my life. He is my deliverer and my portion. He is my salvation. What of you?
God bless and see you next week Friday 😊🙃🤗😇!!
#CyrustheGreat #UnchangeableGod #Hopeforyouandme