I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me
This is God talking to King Cyrus.
In this verse God is reminding Cyrus where his power and authority come from. God reminds Cyrus not to get too full of himself and start thinking of himself as a god.
As king of Persia, Cyrus conquered Babylon which was a great power at the time. So Cyrus was a pretty powerful king to conquer such a powerful nation.Cyrus was referred to as Cyrus the Great. So God made sure he reminded Cyrus of who was responsible for the “Great”. God tells Cyrus “I equip you”.
In the first year of reigning over Babylon, Cyrus ended the captivity of the Jews and decreed that the Jews should return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. Not only did Cyrus allow the Jews to do this, he also returned sacred vessels to the Jews and gave them the financial backing to buy the materials for rebuilding.
Cyrus was not a Jew nor a follower of God. Some say he freed the Jews and other cultural groups when he conquered Babylon. They say he had great respect for diverse cultures within his kingdom. Maybe Cyrus realized you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. He may have realized it would be much easier to control a vast empire when more people like you than hate you. So as I stated at the beginning of the paragraph although Cyrus helped the Jews, he wasn’t a man of God. Therefore the verse reads, “though you do not know me”.
The point that this brings me to is this. God is saying this to all of us. Although the ancient writers of this verse are speaking of God’s calling to Cyrus to free the Jews, once again the meaning of this verse is applicable to all of us today.
All that we have done and accomplished, and all that we ever will do is given to us by the grace of God. Our talents, our will power, our abilities, although all unique, are all derive from the same source. God had equipped us all. Even if we don’t know God, the special tools he has given each of us are still there to be used.
All we have to do to use them is to open our hearts and give God the place to reside. Through righteousness we will discover the full power and purpose of these tools.
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