- NO LYING POLITICAL PROMISES
King Cyrus did not make political promises that were never to be fulfilled. He followed up his Temple-Project promises with practical implementation, much unlike the popular politician today. For example, he restored to the cause of that Temple Project such precious resources as the treasures of gold and silver that his other-godly predecessors had confiscated from that holy place (Ezra 1:7-11). Not only did he fulfil his personal promises of support to the Temple Project at Jerusalem, he personally made a proclamation encouraging other citizens to support that same Project that himself had publicly identified with. If that is Cyrus, may he rule a thousand tenures. Hear him, speaking like a high priest, as Moses often did (Leviticus 22:18, 21; 23:38):
3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.
4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:3-4).
- CYRUS BLESSED HIS PEOPLE
Cyrus was not one who by sorceries or a mindless tongue cursed his land and its peoples. Cyrus was not reckless with his words against any section of his kingdom. He blessed his people in the name of the God of heaven. We hear him declare, “Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up…”
How many kings that claim the name of Cyrus bless their people? How many have not instead brought a woe upon their land? How many invoke the presence of God upon their land? Would they not rather conjure civil crises across the land just so as to perpetuate themselves on their stools? How many encourage their people to “go up,” and would not rather pull them down in the name of a breach of concocted legalities?
Cyrus sought upon his people the good influence of God rather than stamp upon them the names of shame that cripple a people from going up. He invoked upon his people the blessing, not the curse, of the God of Heaven. If it be such a man that they clothe with the name of Cyrus, may he rule a thousand generations, and the people shall bless him, even though he be a Gentile.
- CYRUS THE SUN
It is said that the name Cyrus meant “the sun.” If that be so, then the man truly lived his name, and blazed the light for everyone to see their way. He was light, not darkness, to his kingdom. He brought light to the economy as he championed infrastructural developments rather than demolitions. He brought light to his citizens as he sought their welfare rather than fan sectional flames to divide them. He brought sense into foreign policy by pursuing cordialities with healthy distant lands rather than alliances with haters of good. He brought the light of God as he introduced the God of heaven into his speech and into the social culture, rather than scheme out the Holy Name from circulation in schools and other platforms. Very well then did God in advance call him “my shepherd,” who would perform “all MY pleasure” (Isaiah 44:28).
- MENTORED BY DANIEL
Who was this Cyrus the Gentile? How did he become as we find him? The simplistic answer is that Cyrus was the product of Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s prophecies, several years before the man had come on the scene (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-7; Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10). The comprehensive answer, however, will be found in historical and Biblical deductions.
We read in Daniel 6:28, “So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” In other words, Daniel served also under Cyrus, and that king, like those before him, must also have benefitted much from the godly counsel and presence of Daniel the prophet of God. The further fact that Daniel “prospered” in the reign of Cyrus suggests that there had been a cordial relationship between that prophet in the palace and the king on the throne. Daniel was certainly not one of those hungry Gehazis that often ‘prophetically’ patrolled the corridors of kings and sang their praise for a crumb of bread. The kings respected him much more for his apparent disciplines (Daniel 6:5).
Some theologians are of the view that Daniel must have shown Cyrus his name in the prophetic books of the ancient Jewish prophet Isaiah, about a century and half before Cyrus had been born. Besides, the mystical prowess of the elder statesman was not unknown in the palace where he had been serving from his youth as a Jewish exile. Growing up in the same courts before he became king, Cyrus must have met Daniel in those memorable encounters. That, I suppose, holds the key to what Cyrus became, plus the prophecies that had gone ahead of him, from Isaiah and Jeremiah.
- MESSIAH OR ANTICHRIST?
Not everyone by the name of Christ is Christ; not everyone by the name of Cyrus is Cyrus. As there are antichrists, so are there anti-Cyruses. As there are fake prophets, so are there fake messiahs. It takes no less discernment to tell the fake religious ‘Christ’ as to tell the fake political ‘Cyrus.’
Cyrus was messianic, and he walked with true prophets and teachers like Daniel and Ezra. On the contrary, his counterfeits, like the apocalyptic Antichrist, surround themselves with false prophets, false priests, and blaspheming Beastly gangsters also clothed with cleaner names than they deserve (Revelation 13:4-5; 16:13-14). Discern them. If they should be too clever to be discerned, then judge them by the ‘houses’ that they have built, and to whom – or to which gods.
Cyrus was friend with the Jews, unlike the impostors to whom his cherished name is given, who strangely “make war with the saints” and, in many cases, “overcome them” by means of the strange powers questionably “given” them “over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Revelation 13:4-7). There is a fitting popular Nigerian advertorial that has become an adage: “If it’s not Panadol, it’s not the same as Panadol.”
- THE PRODUCT OF PROPHECIES AND SUSTAINED PRAYERS
King Cyrus’s decree that the Jews should return to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem was in 538 BC. One year before that, in 539 BC, “In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes” (Daniel 9:1), Daniel had begun to bombard the heavens with prayer and fasting for his people’s release from their forced exile to Babylon (Daniel 10). That historic intercession for Israel was based on his realization, from reading the prophecies of Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2), that the Jews had already served their maximum sentence of seventy years in exile, and the time had come therefore for them to go back home.
One year after those powerful inter-galactic prayers in the palace premises; one year after such sustained prophetic interventions that did not go unnoticed by the wicked principalities over the territory, King Cyrus appears on the scene announcing an encounter with the God of heaven, and a commission from that God to rebuild and restore His temple at Jerusalem. That king had no choice. He was a product of continuous prayers as well as of the preceding prophecies of holy fathers – of Prophet Isaiah and Prophet Jeremiah.
Cyrus was cooked in prophecy and baked in prayers. Unlike him, those that some would give his hallowed name have never denied the shariah cauldrons and blood shrines of their incubation. In fact, they publicly boast about those. Unlike Cyrus, of them the heavens cry, “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets”; in them have been found by careful reporters “the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” In accordance with the evil covenants that had installed them, they have been “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 16:6; 17:6; 18:24).
- A WILLING AND OBEDIENT VESSEL
The preceding prophecies were powerful, but that does not say it all for Cyrus. That king cooperated with the prophecies of God upon his life. After all, not all that carried a prophecy fulfilled the prophecy (Colossians 4:17; 2 Peter 1:9). There have been those who rebelled against the very prophecies that had installed them, for example, Judas, Gehazi, and King Saul. In Cyrus, there was a willing heart that met a willing mentor. Daniel was a godly presence in the palace, a holy parliamentarian, a prophet/public servant in the courts of the king, who provided an avenue for God to reach the man that prophecy had been preparing for the throne.
Cyrus must have encountered the ‘ministry’ and influence of Daniel first as a younger soldier helping his uncle King Darius in the courts. He must have been very familiar with the divine influence of Prophet Daniel, with the power of Daniel’s prayers and that man’s godly testimony. He was not unfamiliar with the court narratives of Daniel’s political enemies and his miraculous deliverance from the lions’ den (Daniel 6:20-24), his interpretation of strange dreams for kings (Daniel 2; 4), the mysterious hand that had written a strange message on the palace banquet wall, thus abruptly terminating King Belshazzar’s grandiose idolatrous state party, and how only Daniel had been able to interpret that strange message in a strange language written in a strange script (Daniel 5).
King Cyrus was a child of prophecy and prayers, as well as of some sort of discipleship by the prophet in the palace. Cyrus simply entered into what I would usually call a ‘prayerlized’ atmosphere, and he had no choice but to fall in pre-defined line. Can we speak similarly of those that they would force us to call by Cyrus’s hallowed name?
- DID DANIEL MATTER?
If Daniel were insignificant and his prayers ineffective in his space, the hosts of hell would not so frequently have stirred other politicians to conspire against him; neither would Satan have finally, in utter desperation, personally mobilized, through the demonic “Prince of Persia,” to attempt to frustrate the potency of Daniel’s presence and prayers in the palace (Daniel 10). Daniel played his part, and Hell knew him well and feared. He had been planted in the palace ahead of the good and bad kings that passed through that place. About 61 years after the death of Daniel in 539 BC, that palace produced Esther in 478 BC. Daniel’s prayers and Cyrus’s labours had not been in vain. God knows where you are.
- A CYRUS OR A BEAST?
If whom we have sketched thus far is Cyrus, may he rule his land a thousand tenures. When next they invoke the name of Cyrus upon some undeserving politician; when next they steal the identity of a holy man to clothe some chameleonic beast, you might wish to ask them the following question: Did any father-prophet ever predict the coming of this man, as Isaiah and Jeremiah did Cyrus’s coming? Did they predict him by name? In what scrolls? Who discipled him? Where? Is he the product of prayers? Since when? By whom? Does he hear God, or prides himself in other gods? What is the meaning and mystery of his name? Will he bless his people? Or does he manipulate widespread social upheavals as a means to perpetuate himself? Does he build or destroy? Is his God the One with a House in Jerusalem that is in Judah, or the god with a house in some abominable place?
If he be truly a Cyrus, may he rule his land a thousand tenures even though he be a Gentile. If he be not a Cyrus, may the throne refuse him, and may the very land vomit him. If he is not Cyrus, he cannot be the same as Cyrus. When next some religious apologists should invoke the name of Cyrus upon some desperate ruler, be sure that they are not stealing the identity of a holy man to clothe another chameleonic antichrist.