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. ~2 Chronicles 36:23
There are many external proofs that validate that the Bible is the Word of God. One of the compelling proofs is history. The sovereign hand of God is woven throughout the history of man. Someone has aptly said, “History is HIS STORY.” Cyrus, king of Persia, was prophesied of by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah a little more than 100 years before his birth and 160 years before he conquered Babylon. At a time when the leadership among God’s captive people was lacking, God used this Persian king to challenge His people to return and rebuild the house of God. We see a fourfold challenge in Cyrus’ proclamation.
We see the challenge of identity.
“Who is there among you of all his people?” God’s people are those who identify with Him by faith. Faith is our belief and acceptance that God is our Saviour, Lord, and God. God called His people under Moses a kingdom of priests. The people of God are identified by faith, belief, worship, and practices. The name Christian identifies us as those who have made a profession of faith in Christ and are committed disciples. Do men know that you are a Christian? Do men know that you are a faithful member of your local church?
We see the challenge of inspiration.
“The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up." The challenge was to go up and build the house of the Lord. It was a challenge for these Jews to leave the businesses and settlements that they had been accustomed to while under Babylonian and Persian rule. The natural impulse of all of us is to be comfortable. The Lord gave an inspiring challenge to go back and do something that would not be fo