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“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, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying…” (Ezra 1:1,2).
Text: Ezra 1:1-6
In the ancient Medes and Persian empire, the words spoken or written by kings, especially when it was signed with the royal signet were considered unalterable. Once the decree went out, the outcome was backed by the integrity of the king. That was the case of Darius the king of Persia, who though favoured and respected Daniel, one of his highest officers, could not do anything to countervail his own decree. If mere mortals could so hold dear the personal integrity of their words, how about a holy and righteous God?
Judging by the situations, challenges and lamentations that attended the ministry of Prophet Jeremiah, it may have seemed that his prophecies were spoken to deaf ears. Though some prophecies expressly came to pass during his own day, Jeremiah himself was discouraged and distraught about the response he received for speaking God’s word to a people that were not ready to hear it.
The book of Ezra, however, brought a fresh perspective to the effectiveness and ministry of Jeremiah, and more importantly, to the subject of God’s faithfulness and integrity. Thus, King Cyrus who made the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, Ezra the Scribe who saw the vision and ran with it, and a host of other important figures who came to be known as architects to restore and rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem, were all prepared by God, using the instrumentality of the ministry of Prophet Jeremiah.
There is every reason to take God at His words. Though Jeremiah, Isaiah and the rest of the prophets that had prophesied about the coming of Cyrus the Persian king were no longer alive, God still fulfilled His words.
When God makes a promise, He often does not watch the weather or considers who rules amongst men, or the times or epoch to determine its fulfilment. He only watches over the integrity of His word to fulfil it.
Thought for the day
God’s word is a token of His integrity; you can stand on it.