“I appoint you to help my servant Israel, the people that I have chosen. I have given you great honour, although you do not know me”.
Isa 45:4 GNB
In our human way of doing things and evaluating them we tend to blame people when things aren’t right or to hero worship them when there is success. But one of the major themes running right through the Bible is the emphasis on God and his glory. It begins with the creation story – which attributes power and creativity to God. It ends with the New Jerusalem, God’s final new creation, a thing of glory “coming down out of heaven”.
Whilst the exiles in Babylon struggled with the humiliation of defeat and the difficult surroundings they found themselves in, the prophet Isaiah did the right thing. He pointed them to God. To him the rise of Cyrus was not only going to bring the exiles back to their homeland and redeem them. It was going to bring glory to God. Being used by God, even Cyrus was going to bring glory to God and the fact that he did not himself know the Lord unwittingly brought him even greater glory. The whole episode which Isaiah could foresee served to show that the Lord alone is God.
Marvel again at how the Lord works things together, both the things and people that willingly conform with his commands and mission, and those who do so unknowingly. See that all your service and ministry to the Christian community and to God himself are geared to this one end – to bring glory not to yourself but to him. It is so easy to quietly steal the limelight and usurp God. Don’t. Give the glory to him.
Lord, help me always to give you all the glory.