“Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him! Let him go up.” 2 Chronicles 36:23
You never know whom God will work through on your behalf. Or perhaps, God can work through anyone; therefore, we should not be surprised when, how, and through whom our deliverance arrives. The list of Hebrew adversaries was long. The Egyptians, the Philistines, all kingdoms in and around the region of Canaan, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians had all taken up arms against the Hebrew people at one time or another. And Babylon’s conquest had led to a spirit-crushing exile for the Jews of Judea. There was no reason to assume that life under Cyrus would be any better. When the Persians conquered the Babylonians, the Jews exiled in Babylon must have assumed that the Persians would be another occupying and oppressive force with whom they would have to contend. But Cyrus, to everyone’s surprise, and to the Jews’ great joy, released the captive Hebrews so they could return to Judea and rebuild their country. It was as if Cyrus was an instrument of God, making good on the promises of the prophet Jeremiah, that the Hebrew people would one day be returned to their land. It was nothing short of a miracle that a Persian king served as a divine and delivering agent for the Jewish people. But that is how God works—our deliverance arrives through the most unexpected of people and from the least expected of places. Divine agents can be anyone, even us.
Who has served as a deliverer in your life?
Lord, there are times when I fear that deliverance will never come. Or I look at my situation—I consider the challenges before me—and I just cannot imagine a way out. I cannot imagine who could come to my aid and bring me through the difficulties I face. Yet scripture attests to the fact that You are working in and through all people. You can bring salvation and deliverance from any corner of the world. I long to believe that, Lord. Help me to look for it, too. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.