According to Wikipedia: Cyrus the Great “was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia and the Caucasus. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. Under his successors, the empire eventually stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east. His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World… The reign of Cyrus the Great lasted between 29 and 31 years. Cyrus built his empire by conquering first the Median Empire, then the Lydian Empire and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire… Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. This became a very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects. In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus. What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion, where, because of his policies in Babylonia, he is referred to by the Jewish Bible as Messiah (lit. “His anointed one”) (Isaiah 45:1),and is the only non-Jew to be called so… Cyrus the Great is also well recognized for his achievements in human rights, politics, and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations. Having originated from Persis, roughly corresponding to the modern Iranian province of Fars, Cyrus has played a crucial role in defining the national identity of modern Iran”.
According to the Bible, as prophesized two hundred years prior to the event by Isaiah the prophet: “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut” Isaiah 44:28, 45:1. Then when it did come to pass we read: “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up” 2Chronicles 36:22-23.
Many years ago I heard a well known Christian leader speak at a well known Christian event (Spring Harvest), who asked the question: “have you ever heard a sermon on King Cyrus?” (which he was about to deliver), no doubt expecting a resounding “no” response. Rather smugly, I wanted to respond “yes” for I was one that had so preached. It occurred to me Cyrus was significant for all sorts of reasons, not least that we had here a powerful leader, who where he lay on the good-bad, godly-ungodly spectrum it is difficult to say, that God used mighty significantly to bring about his purposes. The matter cropped up more recently when some Christians speculated that President Trump could be a modern day King Cyrus, eliciting that same wide spectrum of responses among the wider Christian community. Some of this was backed up by “prophetic” words that this is indeed the case. All of which got me thinking …
It should be said that even though I have come to welcome the prophetic word (a subject for another blog methinks) my main Christian associations have been with those who believed prophecy (at least the foretelling of the future aspect) ceased once the New Testament had been completed over 1900 years ago. Moreover, even before Trump threw his hat into the ring to become President, I disliked the man. Narcissism, crassness and having been thrice married were but some of a long list of negative considerations that might be linked to him, and while I have come to appreciate the many positive qualities too, he remains a mixed bag. There is evidence of his acting out Christian principles, which I welcome and discuss in my blog postings, but I still recoil at some of his moral failings and business ethics and ponder if he were truly repentant he would do as Zacchaeus did, which was apologise to those he had wronged and restore four fold what he took by stealth.
When I read my news feeds on mainstream and social media Trump crops up, often in a negative sense. I blog so often on the man by way of a corrective. While I bring out all the many good things he has done, I don’t skip the bad (if you want to know more click on my blog and skim down). What does perturb me is that many, including fellow Christians, see him as seriously bad and increasingly mad, who couldn’t be more delighted than when he gets his comeuppance and someone that fits the bill (more prone to manipulation by the Deep State – forgive the cynicism) can take over none too soon. And I do not dismiss all anti-Trump criticism or fail to recognise that like many I am looking for hope from among our leaders, in a world that seriously needs to be fixed. There is a battle raging around us, essentially spiritual, and the opposition to Trump is part of it.
So this all got me in a belligerent mood – if President Trump is God’s modern day King Cyrus then my Christian friends who think the opposite have been hoodwinked, often because that is the narrative mainstream media and the “elite” would have us believe. As for the nasty Democrats and treacherous Republicans and all sorts of wishy washy liberal types, they are all in the same boat (excuse my overstating the case), many simply want to put up barriers instead of finding common ground, and is why Trump reacts as he does. But here is where I stand right now… Right up to near the time he was elected, I saw Trump as the slightly lesser of two evils, but much that has happened since and against huge opposition, including by a fifth column within his own “inner” circle (expect news to break on this), or who simply want to reign him in, he has done what few politicians have managed to do and that is to deliver on what he has promised and what a whole bunch of “deplorables” had rather hoped against the odds he would.
Despite many character flaws and mistakes galore, Donald J Trump has overall done a good job – he has begun to drain the swamp e.g. going after the pedophiles and powerful financial interests, push back the globalist agenda, begun to address the evils of abortion, supported religious freedom, aided prosperity and security, done things to make America great again and bring God back into the frame. As for whether he is a modern day King Cyrus, while I am not sure entirely and no doubt history will have the final verdict, I think while the specific Bible prophecy has been fulfilled, he is God’s choice for such a time as this and in response to the prayers of his people in these desperate times. I pray for him, particularly that he humbles himself before God, is given divine wisdom and he is protected and not taken out before his time. What convinced me as much as anything that he is the real deal was his speech at the weekend at Liberty University when among other things he said “In America we don’t worship government, we worship God”. God works in mysterious ways – that I know all too well, and he is also faithful. Many have prayed for America, for America needs our prayers, and is it not possible that despite being an unlikely answer to prayer and not what we would have planned that maybe Trump is the answer God, who is sovereign, has given us?
Addendum 01/09/17: I am revisiting this more than three months since first writing and nearly one year after the seed was first sown regarding the Cyrus-Trump connection, even though I am of the belief that all biblical references to Cyrus relate to this historical figure that operated nearly three thousand years ago. But I am increasingly of the view, despite his many faults, Trump is God’s wrecking ball to expose corruption (drain the swamp) and empower the church. I believe we are in a time when there has been already and will be moves to remove this President on false pretexts and this ought to be withstood, firstly by prayer and then by civil action and if need be civil (but not violent) disobedience. Trump in the White House has afforded the church a unique opportunity to be the glorious body, bride, building described in scripture. I believe our nations (USA and UK) are ripe for judgment but that God is merciful and in his mercy has given us Trump.