“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armour, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut”.
Isa 45:1 NIV
People who think that God is just a devotional option to whom worried believers may turn in a crisis haven’t read the Bible. If they turn to God to get a spiritual boost the way they go to the petrol station to fill their empty petrol tanks, that too does not reflect the real God portrayed in the biblical record of his dealings with his people.
Isaiah’s God plays on a big stage, with leading actors. And he controls them the way the director of a movie brings this one on and takes that one off. It would have surprised, or even shocked, the ancient Israelites to find Cyrus, the Persian Emperor, referred to as “the Lord’s Anointed”. The kings of Israel were anointed to indicate their choice for the task by God, and his empowering and authorizing of them to be his servants. Usually translated into English as “Messiah”, it came to be used of the one God would send for his people. Yet here was this foreign king being praised and glorified. It was because he was going to save God’s people by crushing the Babylonians and sending the exiles back to Jerusalem. The point is simple – God is not limited in whom he can choose to serve his purpose and achieve his end.
And when he chose a humble carpenter of Nazareth to be his later anointed one he stretched his greatness and power even further. Never limit or restrict God to the specifically religious sphere of life.
Lord, embrace the whole world and bring it in into your sway.