A Mystery of God’s Sovereignty – Cyrus King of Persia
(i) Cyrus, the King of Persia was chosen by God:
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:
“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
‘Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:1 – 3)
(ii) Though Cyrus did “not” acknowledge “God” (God speaks regarding Cyrus in verses below):
“For the sake of Jacob My servant,
And Israel My chosen one,
I have also called you by your name;
I have given you a title of honor
Though you have not known Me.
“I am the LORD, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;” (Isaiah 45:4 – 5)
To Prove His Sovereignty & Fulfill His Will:
“That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other,
The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these.” (Isaiah 45:6 – 7)
(iv) God gave Cyrus Power:
“Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed,
Whom I have taken by the right hand,
To subdue nations before him
And to loose the loins of kings;
To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;
I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.
“I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden wealth of secret places,
So that you may know that it is I,
The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:1 – 3)
(v) But why does God allow ‘Evil’ (‘Calamity’ & ‘Darkness’ mentioned in Isaiah 45:7)?
To ‘Judge’ the ‘evil’ (done by others toward His Sons) —> bringing forth “righteousness” through ‘justice’ instead as the ‘subsequent’ verses reveal (using ‘Cyrus’ to execute those evil ones even rewarding Cyrus greatly for it):
““Drip down, O heavens, from above,
And let the clouds pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit,
And righteousness spring up with it.
I, the LORD, have created it.
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—
An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth!
Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’
Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?
“Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’”
Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons,
And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.
“It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it.
I stretched out the heavens with My hands
And I ordained all their host.
“I have aroused him in righteousness
And I will make all his ways smooth;
He will build My city and will let My exiles go free,
Without any payment or reward,” says the LORD of hosts.
Thus says the LORD,
“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush
And the Sabeans, men of stature,
Will come over to you and will be yours;
They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains
And will bow down to you;
They will make supplication to you:
‘Surely, God is with you, and there is none else,
No other God.’” (Isaiah 45:8 – 14)
*Cyrus was aroused in” righteousness” (Isaiah 45:13)
God’s Sovereignty with a real life example from History above (Isaiah 45:1 – 17) echoes the ‘salvation of all Israel’ too in the spiritual aspect (and not only their return to their land) even implying the Salvation of All implied by the Beautiful Confession as we have discussed in earlier posts too as seen in the remaining verses of this chapter (Isaiah 45:17 – 25).
God can use a Gentile king too to ‘fulfill His Will’.
Cyrus represents a Gentile king & His shepherd who would ‘fulfill all of God’s desire (will)’ as it is written:
““It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd!
And he will perform all My desire.’
And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’
And of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’”” (Isaiah 44:28)
This attitude of God’s true shepherds & kings who ‘fulfills all of God’s desire (will)’ in the actions of their respective lives could be a Gentile too as above as the words “My shepherd” and “king” likewise was used upon king David himself proving God is ‘not’ a respecter of persons:
“And having removed him, He raised up David to them as king, to whom also He said, having carried witness: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse a man according to My heart, who will do all My will.'” (Acts 13:22)
“My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them.” (Ezekiel 37:24)
The one who does ‘all the will of God’ in ‘his respective life’ will be determined by God’s Sovereignty & honoured by Him.
His Judgment is to bring about “Righteousness” in the end too!