About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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The Mastermind Of History

As an act of God's judgment King Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army overthrew Israel in 586 BC as was predicted decades earlier.  "I will summon all the people of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon ... I will bring them against this land (Israel) ... and destroy it ..." (Jeremiah 29:10 - 11 NIV)."  


As another act of God's judgment, Babylon was conquered by Cyrus and his Medo-Persian army in 539 BC, as was predicted a 150 or so years earlier.  "The Lord says this to Cyrus, His anointed, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and to disarm kings ... and to strip kings of their armor" (Isaiah 45:1 HCSB).  Long before there ever was a Cyrus and a Medo-Persian Empire, Isaiah didn't just predict the fall of many nations, including Babylon; he specified the exact name of the king who would expedite their fall.  This is amazing.  


Understanding that God was behind the fall of Israel and Babylon as seen above confirms that God causes nations and their leaders to rise and fall as Daniel 2:21 and 4:27 state.  He doesn't just allow nations and their leaders to rise and fall; he is the instigator of their rise and fall.   


Note that the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar was God's servant while the pagan king Cyrus was God's anointed one (mashiyack in Hebrew - messiah in English).  Note that God summoned Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Israel and grasped the right hand of Cyrus to subdue Babylon.  Note also that God moved the heart of Cyrus to conquer nations (Ezra 1:1).  Clearly, God was the mastermind behind these historic events. 


Daniel 9:1 and 2 state that after reading the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10) Daniel discovered that Israel's exile in Babylon would last 70 years.  As Isaiah and Jeremiah predicted, Cyrus, after he conquered Babylon and when the 70 year exile had ended, released the Jews from captivity.  By the way, the 70 year exile was punishment for the 70 land Sabbath years that Israel failed to keep (2 Chronicles 36:21).   


As is with much of Biblical prophecy, Israel is front and centre.  Nebuchadnezzar attacked Israel.  Cyrus attacked Babylon and freed Israelis so he would know that God "is the LORD God of Israel" (Isaiah 45:3).  More prophecies could be quoted to confirm this. In fact this age will end when God inspires all nations to attack Israel one last time, only to fall at the hand of Jesus (Joel 3:2, Zechariah 12:3).   


Much of Isaiah 45 is about the restoration of Jerusalem, which in its full extent is yet to come. There will be a righteous and all powerful messianic Cyrus who will restore Jerusalem's.  We know Him to be our Lord Jesus Christ.  "On that day when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her (Jerusalem) I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all nations.  All who try to move it will be injured ... Judah will say .. 'the people of Jerusalem are strong because of the LORD their God'" (Zechariah 12:3 - 5).  "Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations ... on that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and the Mount of Olives will split in two" (Zechariah 14:3 - 4).     


The Bible has lots to say about the rise and fall of nations, including Israel, and He, "The Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).  God alone is the mastermind of history.  History is "His story."   


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