Who is Cyrus?
Cyrus is a king mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible. He reigned over Persia between 539—530 BC. This pagan king is important in Jewish history because it was under his rule that Jews were first allowed to return to Israel after 70 years of captivity. In the first year of his reign, he was prompted by God to make a decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and that such Jews as cared to might return to their land for this purpose.
Why did God choose to use a pagan king? Why does He even choose to use us? There are a couple of principles from today’s reading that we must remember.
GOD chooses who He uses (v.1)
No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. Psalm 75:6-7
If God has chosen to use you, you should give Him praise. It’s such an honor to be chosen by God and used by Him.
GOD empowers who He uses (v.2) [v.5-6]
“I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains…”
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Don’t try and do things on your own – rest in the empowerment of God through the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8)
The PURPOSE is ALWAYS to bring Him glory (v.3)
“I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel”
Don’t attempt to steal His glory – Nebuchadnezzar tried that in Daniel 4 and lived like a wild animal until he remembered that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.
The remainder of this precious chapter – verses 14-25 – tell us of the coming conversion of the Gentiles. It’s wonderful because people like us – non-Jews – can come to faith in Christ and have forgiveness of our sins. Praise God for the Cross and praise Him for His graciousness to us!
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor