Cyrus, king of Persia, out of gratitude to the God of heaven for subjecting all the kingdoms to him, was stirred by the Lord to return the Jewish captives to their homeland and rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem. It was Cyrus that put Ezra the priest in charge of the project (Ez.1: 1-11). Please note that God motivated a gentile and not one of the chosen people to carry out the plan and promise of the Lord. What does that tell us Christians that have become negligible regarding God’s plan and purpose?
The reference to Jeremiah is proof that God does not relinquish on His objective and promise. Jeremiah was ordered to prophesy that God would use Nebuchadnezzar to punish the Jews for 70 years and then let them return home (Jer.25 and 29). Much earlier, Isaiah made a similar prediction about the Northern tribes of Israel (Is.10). But when there was no return, this reference was assigned to the time of Jesus. However, it is not unlikely that some of the Assyrian captive Jews may have been included in Ezra’s remnant. This too is additional confirmation that God does not cast away those that seek to serve Him.
Those of us that are taking God’s promises for granted without complying to His guidelines, may want seriously ponder these words: “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me,” (Is.65: 1). Should we brush Isaiah aside as outdated then consider Jesus’ promise that many will come from east and west and be seated with Abraham while the subjects of the kingdom will be ousted (Mt.8: 11-12). If God did not exempt His chosen people, what makes us think we shall get a free ride into His kingdom (Ro.11: 21). The way we treat God and His laws is a strong indication that the sword of a Nebuchadnezzar is on the way; but will there be another Cyrus chosen by God to restore us to God?