Throughout 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1-6, we see where God stirred up the heart of Cyrus, the Persian King to support the Jews to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Cyrus was known for his domination and he successfully conquered major kingdoms and territories. This included Babylon where the children of Israel had been taken captive.
Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and it was his declaration which resulted in the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem. “Cyrus the king also brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods.” (Ezra 1:7)
Isaiah speaks of Cyrus as being anointed by God to subdue kingdoms, to displace kings and to open doors and gates. God also promised to go before Cyrus and remove all obstacles and allow an easy passage for him. God’s promise was also to bless Cyrus with great wealth in order for him to complete the assignment which he had set before him. “I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:3)
All of this God did to demonstrate his power and might and to show that he can use whoever he chooses. If it was up to us, there are many people who we would disqualify, due to their origin or our measure of their standard of holiness. It was God who chose Cyrus who did not even know him. God blessed Cyrus and gave him victory over many nations and kingdoms. The wealth that Cyrus accumulated was then used to support the restoration, realignment and restructure of Jerusalem.
“I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward,” says the Lord of hosts.”