In today’s scripture reading, I was struck by these profound thoughts concerning God’s working among the nations. The Bible says, “Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: “I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me…” (Isaiah 45:1-5). I’m shaking my head as I read these verses thinking – “here is a great man by the world’s standards, Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, conqueror of the great Babylonian Empire; and a man who did not know God. But God knew him, called him by name, strengthened him, enriched him, subdued nations before him — all so that God could use him to bless the children of Israel. Israel had been hauled off to captivity by the Babylonians. But God used Cyrus to destroy Babylon and free Israel. In fact, it was under Cyrus’s command that the remnant of Israel was allowed to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple. I think of today’s global potentates, world leaders, known and unknown, from the political arena to the corporate world – men of great power, some of great renown – do they know God? Well, whether they do or not, He knows them! And not only does He know them, He uses them in one way or another–whether it be a Cyrus, whom He blessed, or a Pharaoh whom He demolished–to accomplish His will and have done upon the earth that which He has determined will be done.
That is the God who loves us! That is the God whom we serve!
~ Salty ~