“In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the LORD fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:
“This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: ‘The LORD, the God of heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any of you who are the LORD’s people may go there for this task. And may the LORD your God be with you!’”
2 Chronicles 36:22-23 NLT
By the time the people of Judah heard this proclamation, they had experienced over a thousand years of unimaginable hardships. For certain, their God had performed miracles for them that astound readers to this day—He parted the Red Sea, fed them manna forty years in the wilderness, and gave them power to conquer giants in their Promised Land.
However, that land of freedom became a land of pain. God’s people suffered when they wandered from His love, but God sent judges to rescue them. One king would lead them in idol worship, another would bring them back to the Temple. Decade after decade they suffered from the constant war between good and evil, until finally, God’s people ended up as captives in a foreign land AGAIN—this time, the result of abandoning relationship with their God.
BUT GOD NEVER FORGOT JUDAH! Even though century after century, they broke His heart, God always had a plan to bring His people back to relationship. And, that amazing miracle took place because of a foreign king who did not even know God! But God knew Cyrus, and God chose Cyrus to be HIS channel of deliverance!
So, no matter how many years you or someone you love has wandered in exile, GOD has a plan of deliverance! And don’t be surprised who He chooses to open the door to that freedom!
NEVER lose hope!