1 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:
2 ‘I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other;
7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’
In verse 1 we see that God is speaking through Isaiah to Cyrus who was the king of Babylon according to history and to Ezra 4:1-6. Cyrus then was a pagan king of a pagan government. But look at how God addresses King Cyrus of Persia: “His anointed.”
The God of heaven and the God of His people raised up a Persian king who would take over Babylon when the men and women whose parents had been taken into captivity were ready to return to Jerusalem. God sent Israel into captivity for 70 years and then raised up Cyrus, who would do God’s bidding in God’s timing to return the exiles, rebuild their temple and rebuild the city walls. We see in this Isaiah passage that God was in control of all things regarding His people at all times.
Every generation can put the name of their king, their president, and their prime minister in this passage. Romans 14 tells us that every government power is of God and does God’s bidding. A few years ago we could say that President Obama was God’s instrument doing God’s bidding. This year we can say that President Trump is God’s instrument doing God’s bidding. Whichever one you have trouble with, rest assured that God is in control doing His work through these national leaders.
In the book of Daniel we see great prophesies concerning kingdoms that were yet to come. As those prophesied nations rose and fell we could see God’s hand behind them all accomplishing His overall purposes in the earth. As cruel as the Roman government and its army was, God put them in place so in the fullness of time Jesus could come to earth.
As we read the book of Revelation we see that there are prophecies yet to be fulfilled. God is using every ruler of every country to bring about His divine plan for the fulfillment of all things. In the end we will see and know that God was in control doing His bidding through godless leaders and we will praise God forever for His great will.