Sunday, November 19th, 2017
Imperfect Heroes (Part 42)
Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed,
Whom I have taken by the right hand,
To subdue nations before him...
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.
Isaiah 45:1, 4 (NASB)
That God selects and directs our rulers (good and bad) is a mysterious truth many believers prefer to ignore.* But it does explain why the Bible says we aren't to speak evil of our leaders. Because regardless of how we see them, God has a purpose in their appointment.
King Cyrus of Persia was a good king.** He allowed the children of Israel (who were taken captive to Babylon) to return home and rebuild their nation. He restored their looted temple treasures. He provided money and protection. He was a forerunner of human rights.
What makes him unlikely are two big facts:
1) He was an outsider: a pagan king. But God anointed him, and He believed.
2) Believers in God were very few then, and most kings were merciless dictators.
How is King Cyrus relevant today?
1) We should respect governmental rulers. God uses each of them for His purpose.
2) Media kings will be used by God, too. Some of them may even be like Cyrus.
To Be Continued...
* 'The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; He guides it wherever He pleases' (Proverbs 21:1, NLT). Also recall that even among evil kings, (like both Pharaohs in the days of Moses), God can harden a king's heart... or soften it, as He deems best.
** Short article: Who was Cyrus in the Bible? https://www.gotquestions.org/Cyrus-Bible.html
** Longer article/sermon: Cyrus: Anointed of Jehovah and His Greater Captain: http://sljinstitute.net/the-prophets/isaiah/isaiah-cyrus-anointed-of-jehovah-and-his-greater-captain/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Imperfect Heroes series.