Cyrus the Great first bursts on the scene when the children of Israel were in Babylonian captivity. If there was a time they needed salvation and deliverance, it was at this time. Their situation looked a hopeless one. This was because not only the people but also their entire hierarchy of rulers had been taken into captivity. This strategic move had so diluted the political power of Israel that only a phenomenal miracle could see deliverers of any sort being raised to restore Israel’s fortunes.
WE ARE ALL IN SOME KIND OF CAPTIVITY
Many times, in our daily lives, we find ourselves in similar situations. We are in court cases with corporate giants who have done all they can (and they sure can do a lot) to castrate us in order to usurp the little we have to add to their abundance. What about people of great power and influence who hate you without good cause and are using their clout to keep you down? Some of us have dug ourselves into decidedly impregnable pits through atrocious choices. Where do you turn when the specialist is the one giving you the report that the disease is incurable? When harmful habits have hindered and now threaten to overrun, is there a refuge?
WE CANNOT SAVE OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER
The common factor with the children of Israel’s and your situation is that neither can help themselves. No wonder then that the Psalmist makes the appeal: Psalms 60:11-12
Give us help from trouble:
for vain is the help of man.
Through God we shall do valiantly:
for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
It is so significant that he repeats it in Psalm 108:12-13. As a second independent witness, the Prophet Isaiah talks of the vanity of Egyptian help (Isaiah 30:7) while Jeremiah concurs in Lamentations 4:17.
I am so excited that Jesus foreknew such situations because He told His disciples in John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
GOD HAS APPOINTED A DELIVERER
Recognising that a time would come when Jerusalem and the Temple would be overthrown and left in ruins, God was prepared and so in Isaiah 44:28 He “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.” Jerusalem is a picture of the Kingdom and the temple a picture of the individual saint. These are the two most important things to God in the whole earth. This is why Jesus advises us to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness and that all other things would be added as a bonus. Many do not recognise that God’s righteousness is not activities, but a Person, Jesus Christ (see Romans 3:22; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 2:21; Philippians 1:11; 3:9; 2 Peter 1:1; etc).
God actually goes on to call Cyrus His anointed, using the root word from which “Messiah” and its Greek rendition, “Christos” (The Christ) is derived.
CYRUS IS EMPOWERED….
God having chosen Cyrus, is going to take hold of his right hand, to help him capture nations and remove kings from power. City gates would all open before him, mountains would be levelled and the iron bars on cities’ bronze gates would all be broken. God would even give Cyrus treasures hidden in dark and secret places. “Cyrus, you don’t even know me! But I have called you by name and highly honoured you”, Father God says. Why? For the sake of God’s servant, Jacob and Israel His elect.
FOR MY SAKE
Albert Barnes says ” the sentiment is common in the Bible, that kings and nations are in the hand of God; and that He overrules and directs their actions for the accomplishment of His own purposes, and especially to protect,defend, and deliver His people”.
There are certain battles you will not now have to fight because your Cyrus will fight them on your behalf. You will not need to go in search of the treasures in dark places or seek the hidden stockpiles. Your Cyrus will do all the hard and dirty work and you, being more than a conqueror, will be handed the victor’s laurels. This is what Jesus was talking about at the Well of Samaria: John 4:37 “Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”
IS THAT FAIR?
Neither Cyrus nor Israel nor indeed anyone else has a right to question God on this matter. Hear God’s chilling words of warning: “Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker, a pot that is like all the others? Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing? Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill?” Do we dare say to our parents, why did you make me like this? The LORD, the holy God of Israel, the One who shapes the future, says: “You have no right to question me about my children or to tell me what I ought to do! I am the One who made the earth and created human beings to live there. By my power I stretched out the heavens; I control the sun, the moon, and the stars. I myself have stirred Cyrus to action to fulfil my purpose and put things right. I will straighten out every road that he travels. He will rebuild my city, Jerusalem, and set my captive people free. No one has hired him or bribed him to do this.” The LORD Almighty has spoken.” (Isaiah 45:9-13 GNB)
THE BOTTOM LINE
Sometimes, your help, your deliverance will come from the most unlikely sources. Most times as believers, we imagine that it is only through our churches, pastors and brethren that help will come. God in His infinite wisdom has however appointed and anointed some Cyruses to us. Our prayer therefore should be that our eyes be opened to recognise them. We also pray that we will find grace and favour in their sight. The supervisor of the harem in Esther 2:8-9 was one of Esther’s Cyruses. Hear what the a Scriptures reveal:
When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 The girl pleased him and won his favour. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
Daniel enjoyed similar grace in Daniel 1:9
“Now God had caused the official to show favour and sympathy to Daniel…”
Henceforth, you do not need to toil and labour endlessly. Make up your mind to make the affairs of the Kingdom your priority. God has already empowered Cyruses who will favour your righteous cause and do all the hard work. You will find favour with people of high estate who will cause the work of God in your hands to prosper.
Here’s a final verse to comfort and assure you: Isaiah 45:14
“This is what the LORD says:“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush, and those tall Sabeans- they will come over to you and will be yours; they will trudge behind you, coming over to you in chains. They will bow down before you and plead with you, saying, ‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god.”
For that person who is still worried about their personal debts, bills and needs and wants, the question the Holy Spirit is asking you is this: “Can a huge pipe transmit such massive gallonage and remain dry? Or will a man water and he himself not be watered?” Our just God is not unfaithful to forget your work and your labour of love. Your time of reward has come. God will remember you.
Shalom dear friend. As ever you are dearly loved, deeply appreciated and decidedly precious.
Omawumi Michael Efueye ( Pastor O)