In recent months, during the 2016 campaign for President of the United States, I have heard many pundits and read many articles about the damages either candidate would do to our country. Some of those pundits have predicted absolute devastation if the current President-Elect, Donald J. Trump, won the race. On the other hand, I’ve also heard many Christian leaders compare Donald Trump with King Cyrus prior to the outcome of the election. It is to this thought that I wish to speak today.
Who was King Cyrus of Persia? There were many names for this king ranging from Cyrus the Great to Cyrus the Elder to King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and King of Kings. Regardless of the official title, he was the only king that was thought of as “The Father” by the Iranians who were a different people in those days. Cyrus the Great liberated the Jews from Bablyonian captivity and encouraged them to return to their homeland, Israel and Judah.
The biblical Book of Ezra speaks to Cyrus’ granting of permission for the Jews to return home. Ezra 1, Cyrus states, “Thus says 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.” Although he was not Jewish, Cyrus recognized the God of the Jews as the one true God. In verse three of Ezra 1, he goes on to say, “Whoever there is amoung 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.”
Cyrus recognized that there was a special mandate for the Jewish people – their God, their Land, their Temple. He understood and he dispatched people to do so and he even encouraged those that were not returning to Israel – by choice – to support the rebuilding of the Temple by their offerings of silver and gold.
Later, in Ezra 6, when people began to question the mission of rebuilding the Temple, King Darius of Persia, ordered a search of the archives to find the truth of the mission. In a Memorandum, written by Cyrus the King, in his first year of rulership, “issued a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the temple, the place where sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt and let its foundations be retained, …”
Verse 7 goes on to state, “Leave this work on the house of God alone, let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of this house of God; the full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces beyond the River, and that without delay.”
Cyrus was not Jewish. He had no Jewish heritage. Apparently he had had a personal encounter with the God of the Jews, at least he understood their calling and their mission, and he was not standing in the way of it. In fact, he encouraged it. Isaiah 44:24-28 speaks to the calling of God on the life of Cyrus. Ironically, these four verses describe almost exactly what happened with the talking pundits, the pollsters, the robo calls, etc., during this election. None of them knew what was happening. The knowledge and wisdom they claimed was non-existent. They were made to be foolish.
In the last verse of Isaiah, Chapter 44, God said, “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, She will be built. And of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’
In Isaiah 45, we see God bring it home when he says, “Cyrus is my anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand to subdue nations before him, and to loose the loins of kings; to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut. I will go before you and make the rough places smooth, I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars…”Verse 4 “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.”
There are many ways we can interpret these scriptures, interesting as they are. If we pause to consider in the last weeks the UNESCO vote has tried to strip Jewish ownership from the Temple Mount, the Western Wall (retaining wall of the Temple Mount and the holiest site to Jews), Rachel’s Tomb as well as anything else holy to Jews, we have to wonder…Is Donald J. Trump God’s chosen vessel to unravel the twisted cords of the United Nations, UNESCO, and OPEC?
Whether we believe this or not is immaterial. What is important is that God will have His way and we can either go with it and be a part of what He is doing or we can lie in the streets in a pre-natal position, weep, wail and suck our thumbs. Perhaps it is time to prayerfully consider these scriptures, along with others to consider what it is that God is doing. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and, with His permission, we will be willing vessels in His play book.
What say you?