Take ‘ADVANTAGE’ of the ‘OPEN DOOR’ before you: "Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held--to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron." (Isaiah 45:1-2)
Cyrus is named as God’s servant to accomplish the deliverance of His people. God has given the Persian emperor his victories so that he can set God’s people free. Cyrus is said to be anointed in the sense that God chose him for a special mission. God, through Isaiah, called Cyrus by name 100 years before his time to prove to the Persian king that He, Yahweh, was the only true God.
The Lord calls Cyrus His “anointed” (the same word as “messiah” in Hebrew) because the Persian monarch was a prototype of the Messiah who would give final deliverance to His people. This is the only instance in which a Gentile ruler is referred to as “anointed”. Jehovah promises to give him victory over nations, principally Babylon, to remove all hindrances to his conquests, and to hand over to him tremendous amounts of hidden riches in secret places (v. 5). God does all this for the sake of His people, and so that the whole world may know that He alone is the Lord.
The famous theologian MacRae notes that the various statements about Cyrus bring out these basic facts:
- God raised up Cyrus for His own purposes;
- The great successes of this Persian king went beyond those of any previously known conqueror;
- The coming of Cyrus was predicted by name far in advance;
- Cyrus was to serve as both a temporary Shepherd and Messiah to God’s people; and
- God’s purpose in blessing Cyrus was to make him an instrument for delivering Israel from the captivity and returning her to Jerusalem.
In our personal lives, God opens doors of opportunities at different times. He has already promised never to leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5b), and sometimes He will go before us to open doors that we can use our talents for His glory. Are we sensitive to God’s guidance in our lives?