Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His 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 am the LORD, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other,
The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these. – Isaiah 45:1,5-7
This whole chapter of Isaiah is one of my favourite’s in the entire Old and New Testaments, it is an example of God’s sovereign power over life and death, salvation and destruction. It describes a future King who would come to free the Israelites from their captivity in Babylon, Cyrus, a Persian pagan described as “anointed” by the Lord. This man is also seen as a forerunner type of Christ, like Isaac, Joseph and David were. Although bizarre to the people at that time, it was God’s will to use a foreign pagan to free them. God’s will may seem strange to us at times but it will always work out for the greater good in His plan.