“This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
History tells us that Cyrus was a very
important person in the plan of God for His people. It was Cyrus who
defeated the Babylonians during the time of Daniel. He was the ruler who
not only allowed a group of Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple,
he helped finance the operation! It is clear that this was all according
to God’s plan and that it was by God's power that it came about. But
friends, here is the really interesting part: the book of Isaiah was written
between 700 and 680 BC. Cyrus, king of Persia and ruler of the Babylonian
empire, wasn’t born until 580 BC. That means that, by the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit, Isaiah called Cyrus by name and identified him as king 100
years before he was born!
imagine turning to Micah or Daniel and finding a statement about what God is
going to do through you in which He calls you by name? If that wouldn’t
make it clear that God is God I don’t know what would!
But the real point for us to draw from this account is that God does as He pleases with resources we don’t know anything about. Read the passage again. The “I” in this portion of Scripture is God, not Cyrus. It is God who put Cyrus in a position of power and then used that power to subdue nations and remove kings. It is God who opens doors, and only God can remove immovable obstacles. Gates of bronze and bars of iron would have been show-stoppers for a man in Cyrus’ time, but not for God! And provision . . . God has what His people need. He has stored it away in places that they can’t see and don’t know anything about. Not even Daniel, certainly the godliest of all of God’s people exiled in Babylon, could have ever guessed that a Persian ruler would overthrow the empire of Nebuchadnezzar and then use the treasury of Babylon to assist in the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. And yet, for the honor of His name, God caused that to happen. “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD. . .” It helps sometimes to be reminded that God not only has treasures and riches in secret places we can’t see, His plan is to give those treasures and riches to His people in their time of need. Awesome!
Pastor Keith Andrews