I am still amazed that it is possible to get from Montpellier to Nottingham on the train in just 9 hours. This is mainly due to the ease of connections at Lille (45 minutes) and St Pancras (20 minutes – not a recommended transfer time, but we managed to make it!!) What could be a difficult and long journey is made smoother for you by the ease of good interchanges, and efficient trains.
Cyrus has been anointed and appointed by God.
He is the one who allowed the Jews to return from captivity to Jerusalem. Here he is also appointed by God to conquer nations. God had a task for him and he was going to make it possible to happen. God is going to open the doors before him to the place he wants him to go.
Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him… to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains Isaiah 45:1,2
God is going to make his passage easy. This is what God has called him for, and he smooths the way.
Why does God do that? We know that the way through life is not always easy. Sometimes there are mountains to climb, or we encounter locked gates. But God promises this to Cyrus so that he will KNOW – he will know that he is the Lord, the one who has called him by name. He promises to do this, even though Cyrus has not acknowledged him. God has acknowledged Cyrus. He knows him and uses him. God doesn’t need to wait for Cyrus to acknowledge him – God is God and is already there working.
And more than that, God does what he does so that everyone will know:
so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other Isaiah 45:6
That is what God longs for people to understand. That there is none but him, whether we realise it or not, he is busy working. He is smoothing things out where they need to be; he is unlocking gates that we need to go through – and leaving closed those that we don’t; he is calling us to work with him – can we hear him?
Do we acknowledge God?
there is so much you do for me,
that I don’t often realise.
Gates you open;
mountains you smooth.
May I see you,
and follow the way you call me to