If my social media feed is any indication, a great many Americans are looking for the Persian King Cyrus. God says of this pagan king:
Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
and to loose the belts of kings . . .
Here we learn an important lesson: at least one pagan leader served God’s purpose. We cannot be sure who God will use or not use. Americans discouraged with the choices in this election might be interested in the story of Cyrus. God can raise up anyone to save His people. We cannot be sure how Divine Providence will be exercised.
If you find yourself in a powerless situation, like the Jewish people in Persia where only a miracle can restore you to the land, then God will find a Cyrus. As Queen Esther learned, God will put His person in place to save a remnant. God allows for our free choice: if Esther will not save God’s people, then God will raise up someone else and Esther will fail. God will find a Cyrus.
We do not choose Cyrus: we are powerless, but God raises him up. God will find a man or woman to save a remnant of his people. I might not be saved, I might go on to God in difficult times, but God will raise up a deliverer in His time. If you are a prophet, like Isaiah, you might be able to identify Cyrus, but for the rest of us, we follow God’s example and pray for our leader.
Somebody will win in 2016 and we should pray for that winner with all our hearts. We will pray that he or she will do good and seek justice. We pray that they will be better than their campaigns and give the people of God peace. We do not pray for perfection, but hope for redemption.
For eight years, I have prayed daily for my President (though I did not vote for him either time) and for God to raise up a Cyrus in his administration. I have prayed that he be safe. God heard my prayers and answered them as He chose.
He left the choice of my vote to me and to millions of fellow Americans.
Who is Cyrus? We do not know, I surely do not. Perhaps God is raising up a Cyrus in the Democratic Party! Surely that would be no stranger than God using a pagan Persian to redeem his people! It might be that Mrs. Clinton will renew her Methodism and protect religious liberty because God works in her heart. On the other hand, Mr. Trump might turn out to be God’s anointed. He will break the back of injustice and deliver the unborn from abortion. God might use him, if we elect him, to discomfort the wicked.
I cannot say who God’s Cyrus will be for America, but then neither can any man or woman. You cannot vote for Cyrus, you can only vote (or not vote) and pray God helps.
Also possible (even likely!) is that there is some underling, some Esther, that God will raise up to deliver his people. There is also the sadder possibility that God is sending into us”seventy years” of exile and Cyrus is coming, but not in my remaining lifetime.
I will live in Babylon powerless and far from home until I come to the better home. None of this tells me who should get my vote in the next election. God raises Cyrus up and I will be surprised. God’s deliverer might come from the Persian king’s haram, might be the Persian king, or might be a deliverer like Moses who is coming, but that generations of God’s people did not live to see.
God give me wisdom to vote or refrain from voting with integrity. Whoever wins, raise up a Cyrus to redeem your people.