“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:
2 “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. 3 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. 4 Every survivor, at whatever place he may [a]live, let the men of [b]that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.’” -Ezra 1:1-4
Here we read about King Cyrus. A very notable king indeed. He was picked by God to help Israel rebuild Gods “house in Jerusalem”. He was “set apart” by God. There is something there, that I want to dive into a bit.
Cyrus was not Jewish. In fact he was Persian. God set him apart before he was even born. Lets look into the book of Isaiah:
“who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’ Isaiah 44:28
A brief history on Cyrus. With a little light research on his youngers years, it is uncertain as to if Cyrus was born to the king and or was part of the aristocracy or if, according to myth, he was put in the care of a Shepard couple. The point is he was not apart of the kingdom till later after Cyrus the 1st died. Fast forward, he becomes king over all the land. He is considered a great conqueror, in fact some give him the title “Cyrus the Great”. Then we come across this portion of scripture, where God speaks to him and uses him to rebuild Jerusalem.
God chooses who He wants
In a recent conversation, a friend and I had with someone about, whether God “picks and chooses leaders.” We know God is in control. He knows everything after all. And He can choose who He wants to bring His purpose about.
We can do a study of all the Kings, rulers, and judges in scripture and we will find out some were good and some were bad. The point is, that God predestined or chose these leaders for His good purpose. Cyrus was no different.
God had a plan for His people and He used Cyrus to fulfill his plan. Does every leader have a purpose? “4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13:4
Still not convinced? Here is further reading on it,
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1
“”It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding” Daniel 2:21
“For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
7 but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.” Psalm 75:6-7
“ Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,[b] whether it be to the emperor[c] as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” 1 Peter 2:13-14
Then there’s this:
“ Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above..” John 19:11
God is in-control
God brings those in authority for our own good. In the book of Judges, God raises men and women up to lead Israel. If you read The book of 1-2 Kings God allows these Kings to be raised up to bring his people back to him. These leaders are raised up for our Good. To lead us to Him(God).
“4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:4-5
Whether our current leaders appear to be good or not, we are to humble ourselves under them. But they are not the ones we are to look to to bring us HOPE or LIFE. We are to look to God for all things. As long as we live on this sinful broken world, we will have leaders who will fail us. Just remember God never fails and we are to always look to Him.
He is in-control and He knows what He is doing. He is doing it all for our good. That we would run to Him and depend on Him only.