By Mike Chaffin
22 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, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up! 2 Chronicles 36:22-23
Cyrus, King of Persia, is not an Israelite, but that didn’t hamper God from fulfilling His plan. God told Jeremiah that Judah will live in exile for 70 years, and then be allowed to return. True to his word, 70 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, God nudged Cyrus, who had just conquered Babylon, to let His people go.
Thankfully, God is sovereign over his creation. This includes those who are His children, the agnostic, those who practice false religions, and those who deny His existence. God can, and will, fulfill His promises in whatever ways necessary. It is such a comfort to serve an omnipotent God.
God promised the Israelites that they would return to Jerusalem after seventy years in captivity as slaves to the Babylonians. His fulfilled promise freed those who returned to Jerusalem from bondage. In a like manner, His promise of a savior frees us from slavery to sin. As the Apostle Paul wrote:
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. Ephesians 1:7-10
Mercifully, Christ coming to earth to live a sinless life and die a sacrifice for our sins so we could be redeemed from death has been God’s plan since the beginning of time. In the fullness of time Christ will return to unite the living and the dead in Him. What a Thanksgiving!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your glorious plan of redemption for mankind. Thank you that you have provided us with your blessings, your provision and a future in Heaven. In Jesus Name, Amen.