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, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah (Ezra 1:1-2).
It could be hard for some to believe that this king of a heathen nation would be used to fulfill the will of God. It might be even more difficult to understand because of the magnitude and importance of the mission from God that Cyrus was being directed to make manifest. The reality of the matter was he was used to help launch the rebuilding of the Temple. The prophet Isaiah predicted Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid (Isa. 44:28).
God is fully capable of using whoever He chooses to accomplish His will. Think of the words in this verse. The spirit of King Cyrus was stirred by God. This king surely had many matters of state to attend to, as any in his place would have. However, God turned Cyrus' heart towards God's business and made it a top priority in Cyrus' life. He chose to follow God's will for his life. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
The clear message here is one that will always bear repeating again and again. Cyrus heard from God and acted upon the command. He could have turned a deaf ear to God's voice just as many do today. Praise the Lord for those that hear and recognize His voice and commands and respond obediently!
God still speaks to humans today. He draws the lost to come to the cross to find salvation. He seeks out the wandering saint to bring him to a place of dedication to God. God calls those who are consecrated to Him into a life of service. Finally, at the end of the life of each believer, God will give the call to come home to be with Him.
God is still doing His part, the calling. It falls to us to respond as Cyrus did and say "yes, here I am Lord, I'll do Your will." God may have a task for any one of us at any time. The Holy Spirit may be trying to stir you or me even as we speak. Listen for God in your prayer time, study time and anytime. Answer the call.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matt. 13:43).
Thought for Today:
Never forget, we should always pray, as Jesus did, that God's will be done for His glory.
1:1 perfect, blameless; 1:6 strengthened their hands, gave them assistance; 2:43 Nethinims, Temple servants; 2:63 Tirshatha, governor.
By Sheshbazzar, another name for Zerubbabel, Sthe prince (governor) of Judah (Ezra 1:8). Christ is both the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) and the Lion of the tribe of Juda (Judah) (Rev. 5:5).
Pray for our Military worldwide • Government Officials: Rep. Tim Bishop (NY) and Rep. Gregg Harper (MS) • Country: Ireland (3.7 million) off the coast of western Europe • Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) • Religious freedom • 92% Catholic; 3.7% Anglican; 1% Other Protestant; .2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 1% None •Prayer Suggestion: Keep the Word of God and pray to Him who has given you an open door into His presence (Rev. 3:8).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 3
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:157