Isaiah 45:4-6 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I told you so! What makes it so heard for us to hear these words? After all there are some people, who can say it, and it doesnt bother us at all but there are some people, who when they say this it really gets to us could it be that the reason is that we should have listened to them, we should have believed their report? And of course we didnt.
Romans 10:12-16 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
God does not work in secret. Salvation is not a hidden mystery. God has seen to it that all these things are laid out in plain sight. And sometimes, in order to get our attention, God works through outsiders. Cyrus was an outsider, a Persian king, he conquered Babylonia, he ruled their empire, and extended it. He is not of Abraham, there was no reason for God to notice him but God chose him, and God blessed him so that everyone would see the power of God, he can do anything, he can even make a foreign king the Savior of his people. And he let these plans be known ahead of time, so that everyone could see the hand of God at work.
Why? Not because Cyrus was so special, but rather, so that the whole world might know that there is no other God, except the Lord God who created everything. And so it was by the hand of God, that Cyrus ruled an empire from Greece to India. And so it was Cyrus to people of Israel free from their Babylonian exile, and even helped them rebuild the temple.
Why? There are 2 reasons, if Gods chosen people, who had been richly blessed, had been doing their job then all the world would have know all about God, who had done such great things for them but they were not very good at telling the story, and they thought that the blessings were theirs because they had earned and deserved them. So they were conquered, and then they were exiled -and still they could not grasp what God had been saying all the time.
Now if God were like us, he would have just given up and gone on to another people anyone who can be that dense must be hopeless. But God did not give up- but kept on working so that they might repent and believe so that we also, might repent and believe. God wants everyone to know that there is no other God like him. God has called us to tell the story.
And perhaps the most important thing is that if God did not give up on a stubborn people, who were hard of hearing or at least they did not obey then neither will God give up on us but will in various ways work so that we might know that He is the Lord, there is no other god and knowing this that we may believe on him, and find in him forgiveness and salvation. So that we will never have to worry about coming to the end of our life, and having someone tell us when we find ourselves on the wrong side I told you so!