Our passage from Isaiah refers to one of God’s anointed named Cyrus. The odd thing about this “anointed one” is that he was not a member of God’s people. He was not Jewish but a Persian king. What makes this interesting is the fact that the Persians “owned” the chosen people. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah had been hauled off into exile by the Assyrians and the Babylonians respectively. Now the Persians were in control after defeating the Babylonians who had in turn defeated the Assyrians before them. Now, after years of exile and embarrassment, God’s people would be delivered by one of their enemies, a type of messiah, appointed and anointed by God.
Cyrus’s role as messiah reminds us that God will not be contained by our rules and will operate in ways that are completely beyond our comprehension. He will preserve his “works of mercy”. God operates “outside of our boxes” for our benefit.
“Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”