1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the
mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king
of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put
it in writing, saying,
2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded
me to build Him a [a]house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.
I was reading this today and it got me to thinking. King Cyrus acknowledged God. He acknowledged that everything he had was given to him by God. he also said that God told him to build a temple for Him in Jerusalem. And I have to wonder: How did God get this Persian ruler’s attention? Was Cyrus a little different growing up? Was he a square peg in a round hole? Obviously, the culture surrounding him was full of idols and foreign gods. Certainly, he was taught to believe in and follow the culture around him. So what caused him to take such a stand and go a totally different way? It’s obvious god did something in his life. We don’t know how He did it, but obviously, there were experiences in Cyrus’s life that God used to shape him into the king god needed. Looking at the situation 70 years before, could the captive Israelites even dream of how God might accomplish their return in 70 years? I doubt it. If they had been told how it would happen, they probably would have doubted. I probably would have doubted. I probably would even have doubted I’d be released at all in 70 years. But God did it. Doesn’t that bring hope to you today?
We can only speculate what king Cyrus was like, what his personality was, how god might have reached him, but we don’t need to speculate about the fact that God did reach him! And that’s the most important message of these 2 verses, at least it’s the most important message that God is showing me today.