by Rev Joel Yong
The promise the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah was about to come true in Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia. The LORD inspired the king to make this announcement throughout his whole kingdom and then to put it in writing. This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: The LORD God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the world. Then he ordered me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem (which is in Judah). May God be with all of you who are his people. You may go to Jerusalem (which is in Judah) and build a temple for the LORD God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem.
How does a pagan king credit God for his ascent and also decide to build God a temple?
I can imagine how incredulous the biblical readers of this text were.
Jerusem was sacked and destroyed.
The people wondered when they would return and when their ruined city would be rebuilt.
In their minds- perhaps they thought “For the city to be rebuilt, we must first await the end of the Persian empire before we can go about fulfilling those plans.” After all it made sense logically.
Little did they know … God can use a pagan king to restore His city.
He can use a tax collector to write His gospels.
He can use a carpenter to save the world.
He is a God of miracles … as it was then, as it is today and it shall be even so tomorrow …