SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
“1 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,
2 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. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem.
4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem” Ezra 1:1-4.
“GOD IS NOT A MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE, NOR A SON OF MAN, THAT HE SHOULD CHANGE HIS MIND. DOES HE SPEAK AND THEN NOT ACT? DOES HE SPEAK AND THEN NOT FULFILL?” Numbers 23:1 (NIV).
In the previous edition, we looked at how God is committed to every promise He has made to His people. We realized that God promised his people through Jeremiah that after seventy years He was going to bring them out of exile. After seventy years when many had forgotten and many more had given up any hopes of being redeemed from captivity, God made a way for them through a pagan king Cyrus. This shows that God is a covenant keeping God who keeps and fulfills His promises to His people irrespective of what we think about His promises. It teaches us that whatever God has promised to us in previous years shall all be fulfilled in his own time. In this edition, we want to consider how the LORD stirred up Cyrus’ heart in order to bring His word to pass.
What God did in bringing his people out of exile during the time of Cyrus is worth taking notice of. This is due to the amazing way by which God fulfilled his promise to his people. In the first place, God fulfilled his promise at a time many had given up the hope. He also used the king whom many thought was ungodly and therefore would never think of any such thing. All was done to ensure that God is the covenant keeping God who has the desire and the power to fulfill every single promise He has made to His people no matter the prevailing circumstances or conditions. When the time came for Him to fulfill his promise, God stirred Cyrus’ heart to build a temple for Him in Jerusalem. This was not going to be done by Cyrus himself directly. God decided to use Him to grant his people the permission to go back to their land in order to build the temple of God. Without God stirring up Cyrus’ heart, there was no way the Jews would have been able to go back to their land to build God’s temple. Praise be to God for changing the heart of the enemy and turning Him to be a friend and supporter of God’s people.
I DO NOT KNOW THE NUMBER OF ENEMIES WHO ARE WORKING TO PREVENT YOUR PROGRESS IN LIFE, MINISTRY, AND RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, HEALTH OR FINANCES. BUT I KNOW GOD CAN CHANGE THE HEARTS OF YOUR ENEMIES AND CAUSE THEM TO HELP YOU OUT OF THE SITUATION YOU DID NOT WANT TO FIND YOURSELF IN THE SAME WAY HE STIRRED CYRUS’ HEART TO ALLOW THE JEWS FREEDOM TO GO BACK TO THEIR LAND.
What is so amazing is that God did not only cause Cyrus to allow his people to go out of Persia but He also caused Cyrus to develop a special love for the Jews by praying for God to be with them. He prayed that God would protect all the Jews everywhere.
ANYONE OF HIS PEOPLE AMONG YOU-MAY HIS GOD BE WITH HIM, AND LET HIM GO UP TO JERUSALEM IN JUDAH AND BUILD THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, THE GOD WHO IS IN JERUSALEM.
It is my prayer that all those who sought for your downfall in 2013 will begin to pray for your elevation in the year 2014. May the LORD cause all your enemies to begin praying for your success this year as Cyrus was stirred by the LORD to do for the Jews! May the hand of the LORD be upon you throughout your journey through the year 2014 in Jesus’ Mighty name!
As if letting the Jews go back to their Land was not enough, Cyrus was also stirred by God to declare that the people in the Kingdom would provide God’s people with everything needed for the building of the temple. They included silver, gold, goods and livestock. Isn’t it amazing how God kept His promise to His people? Cyrus declared:
“AND THE PEOPLE OF EVERY PLACE WHERE SURVIVORS MAY NOW BE LIVING ARE TO PROVIDE HIM WITH SILVER AND GOLD, WITH GOODS AND LIVESTOCK, AND WITH FREEWILL OFFERINGS FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD IN JERUSALEM” Ezra 1:4 NIV.
As you read this message, I want to remind you that the LORD God who caused all the above to happen in the lives of His people is still alive and active in the lives of His people. He has seen everything you went through in previous years and does not delight in leaving you in perpetual bondage. That is why He gave His son Jesus Christ to us. If you would believe and allow Him, He would change your life for the better and ensure that everything he has said concerning your life shall come to pass this year and beyond. The LORD will ensure that everything you need to bring about fulfillment in your life in the year 2014 and beyond will be provided through our Lord Jesus Christ just as Cyrus ensured that the Jews got all their provisions for the rebuilding of God’s temple in Jerusalem.
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
See also: The Covenant Keeping God (Part 1)
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.