Cyrus the king of Persia was a pagan God and in verse 2 he is quoted in regards to God interacting with him. A note in my Quest Study Bible suggests he responded due to his wanting to allow other religions to rebuild their temples for political purposes and he may have thought he would win favor with the God he called “the God of Heaven.” It says he served the god, Marduk. The one true God interacted with him, regardless of his motives or theology, to bring about His will for His people.
Verse 2-“The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.” Does this amaze you as much as it does me about who our God is? This pagan king is aware that God gave him his kingdoms and he wanted him to have the temple in Jerusalem built. We know that God is in control of everyone and everything on this earth but to have this pagan king know that makes me ask so many questions such as:
- How did God interact with Cyrus?
- How could this king interact and know that God had blessed him so and yet still not worship Him as the one true God? I guess it continues to happen in lots of lives today. That is very sad to me!
- Was this part of Cyrus’ opportunity to know God personally and did he miss it?
- When God moved Cyrus’ heart first was it just part of the going ahead He does in our lives to prepare for the next step in our lives?
- What can I learn about who God is from this part of Ezra?
One of the things I learn is that I have an amazing God whose love is beyond compare and He is able to do anything! He loved His people and never gave up on them. He does the same today! They had been in exile for 128 years between the Fall of Jerusalem and this second return of exiles to Jerusalem in Ezra’s time. Though they had sinned against God He never gave up on them! He went ahead of His people and prepared the way by moving the heart of a pagan king. Before He interacted with them and moved their hearts He had made a way for them.
I am so very grateful that God loves me that way! I am grateful that even when I sin and blow it He has made a way for me to return and be forgiven and do what He has next for me. That way is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s death for me on that cross. How big is that love? I can’t even comprehend it. This morning it just brings me to tears and I am overwhelmed beyond belief. After all these years with my Lord it still amazes and touches me to the deepest parts of me. Do you know that love? I surely pray you do. If you don’t please let me know or ask someone you know about it. I know God will have prepared ahead for you as He did His people in Ezra’s day. There will be someone you know who knows Him as Savior. If not then maybe this little blog is it and that is why you are here. I would love to share if you have any questions. Most importantly, just get on your knees and talk to God. He is just waiting for you! Love!