Wednesday, May 4, 2016

King Cyrus and Party Nominations

Ezra 1:1-4

New International Version (NIV)

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

I'm resting on this passage today. I'm remembering that God did not forsake his people when they went into captivity, and that he spoke to Cyrus (and later Darius), and called upon these pagan kings to rebuild his temple - and they listened. They released their captives of war, sent them back to Jerusalem along with gold and temple vessels and clothing and sacrifices, and ordered that all the people of the surrounding kingdoms leave the Jews alone in their holy work. 
Today I, like many many other Republicans, am stating that this party no longer represents my values, and I will not be voting the Republican ticket in November. I will find a third party candidate that I can support in good conscience and I will vote for them, because I believe it is my duty as a citizen to vote, but I cannot support either of the two major parties this year. 
I hope that this election cycle will serve as a shake-up for our country. I've felt for a long time that the two party system is no longer in our best interests, and I hope that the events of this year will bring forth major changes in our electoral system. 
But in the meantime, I hold to the fact that God can speak to anyone, and even the most unlikely person can do his will. God does not promise us a happy life here on earth, only pure joy in our heavenly hope. But he is still King here, even though his kingdom is in revolt, and he still has the power, to use in his good time. 

(I don't wish to ignite a political discussion here. I merely wish to share a passage that has given me some comfort over the tumultuous election process this year. Please refrain from political debate in the comments. Thank you.)

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