God at work here
Isaiah 45: I’m the one who armed you for this work.
Cyrus the Great of Persia overthrows Babylon and pretty much conquers his world. In modern terms, his name is in every newscast and many powerful people rise each morning and go to bed each night wondering what Cyrus is going to do next. Isaiah, the prophet of God, also talks about Cyrus. However, Isaiah isn’t worried about what this powerful conqueror might do next. In fact, Isaiah has an entirely different take on Cyrus. Isaiah says that even though Cyrus doesn’t even know the name of the true God that God knows about Cyrus and is using this king to do what he wants done. Whether Cyrus knows it or not, he’s on a mission from God. It isn’t his cleverness or wisdom that gives him success. Rather, it’s the hand of God working through him. Beyond that, what cleverness and wisdom Cyrus does have was given to him by God in the first place. And, while Israel and Cyrus don’t know it, the things that he’s accomplishing by his military might are for the good of Israel. Talk about devotionally rich material; this is it! On the big stage of the world, even when I don’t see it, God’s at work. That isn’t to say that God is always orchestrating elections, etc. However, I’m reminded that God has a purpose in mind for this world and he’s working at just the right level, whatever that level might be, to move things toward that purpose. In smaller ways, I also remember that, even when I can’t see it, God patiently works through people and circumstances with his goals in mind. Or (and I said there’s lots of devotional material here), I can place myself on the other side of things. When I try something that’s surprisingly successful I need to remember that, like Cyrus, my success may not be as much mine as it’s God’s. He may be “clearing the way” ahead of me because he’s doing something bigger than I know. However, unlike Cyrus, who the Lord speaks to saying, “You don’t even know me” I do know him. Today, I remember that sometimes the Lord honors me by using me as a partner in what he’s doing in this world.
Take Away: The Lord patiently works through people and circumstances with his goals in mind.