“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.”’” 2 Chronicles 36:22-23
Now in the first year. God is the God of time and calendars, keeping ordered measure of His creation through days and tides, and assigning each of us to time and place on earth and in history. (Genesis 1:14-19; Acts 17:26)
Of Cyrus king of Persia. God places and deposed kings and all governing authorities. Whether they know or follow Him or not, He grants every human authority and deigns that they are in place for our ultimate good. (Daniel 2:21-22; Romans 13:1-4)
That the word of the LORD might be fulfilled. All creation exists at the breath of God, who spoke it into being and became the living Word in the person of Christ Jesus. We are born again by His living, abiding, and eternal word. Every prophecy and promise is true, and either has or will come to pass. His words are true and stand firm forever. (Genesis 1:1-3; Psalm 19:7; 33:9; 119:89; Matthew 5:17-18; John 1:1-3; 1 Peter 1:23-25)
The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus. Almighty God has sovereign control of our world, and accomplishes His righteous purposes however He seems best and right. No matter what or who seems in apparent control, we must keep on in righteousness and holiness because only One rules over all. (Proverbs 21:1; Revelation 22:11)
Knowing that God intervened in and used the heathen king Cyrus to bring about much good for His people, how is our present outlook renewed? What disappointments or stresses about our days will we entrust to His daily planning? What doubts and trepidations about decisions beyond our control will we replace with trust in God’s sovereign control? What grouchiness, irritations, and complaints will we eliminate in light of His faithful providence in all circumstances? Would we turn mental dismissal of those we don’t like into Christ-like love through persistent, obedient prayer? (Matthew 5:44, 1 Timothy 2:1-4)
As we enter the first day of a new year, how will we approach it differently from the world? We can trust our Lord God for this new day, with hope for that day when all will be set right. He rules the beginnings and middles with His ends in mind, shaping and guiding and redeeming along the way, all for and toward His glorious culmination of time and purpose. (Malachi 4:1-3; Revelation 21:1-5)
Will we boldly, joyfully step into a new first year- alongside the heathen King Cyruses in our lives- and emulate Jesus, uphold His truth, and proclaim His excellencies and beauty?
Lord, may I glorify You this year by embracing and rejoicing in Your reign over all things, and trust Your word never to return void, but accomplish all You marvelously intend. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
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Love ❤️ “ We can trust our Lord God for this new day, with hope for that day when all will be set right.” — Yes, God’s promise of that glorious day is my strength for this new day and new year!