Through the Bible Day by Day
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
JEHOVAH’S CHOSEN INSTRUMENT
Cyrus is one of the noblest figures in ancient history. His character became a model for the Greek youth in strength, simplicity, humanity, purity, and self-restraint. We have seen that Jehovah had assured His people that Jerusalem would be restored, Isa_44:26. They probably expected a repetition of the Red Sea and the Exodus. But God does not repeat Himself; and their deliverance from captivity was to be achieved through the victories that made Cyrus master of Babylon. See Ezr_1:1-4.
God’s plans are achieved through individuals, whom He equips and raises up for their specific work. There is much in all our lives that we cannot account for, and which is due to the girding of the Almighty. We do not always recognize the real sources of our lives. They are hidden in God. He girds us though we do not know Him. Let us not gird ourselves in our own strength, but stretch forth our hands unto Him, sure that He will neither fail nor forsake. See Joh_21:18. They who thus utterly yield to God are bidden in the exercise of a daring faith to command, that is, to claim, His saving power.
Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.
A CALL TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
As the prophet reviews God’s method of delivering His people-so unexpected and so wonderful-he cannot restrain the ejaculation: Thou art a God that hidest thyself! “Deep in unfathomable mines of never-failing skill, He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.” You do not see how God is going to save you; but most certainly His Angel will redeem you from all evil.
God contrasts Himself with idols, Isa_45:20. We can never seek His face in vain. They that trust in man or their own devices are doomed to disappointment; but faith and prayer make all the difference. He is “a just God and a Savior.” This is the wonderful combination that the Cross reveals. See Rom_3:26; 1Jn_1:9. Look to Him and be saved. Even if you dwell in a far land or at the ends of the earth, and even if you can only look toward Him with failing sight, remember that “there is life in a look.” Dare to say, “In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” You have none of your own! Your strength is weakness! Your righteousness is full of flaws! Look to Him; boast in Him; and men shall come to you for your secret.