Between 750–698 BC, Isaiah prophesied a man named Cyrus would rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.

Isaiah 44:28 (KJV): that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

In 587 BC the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem, the temple and deported the Jews to Babylon. Around 539 BC the king of Persia overthrew the Babylonian empire. His name………Cyrus. Cyrus was a gentile, he did not worship God. The Book of Ezra indicates the Jews in Babylon showed Cyrus Isaiah’s prophecy.

Ezra 1:2 (KJV): Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

The result? Cyrus allowed the Jews to return home and rebuild their temple.

The accuracy of Bible prophecy overshadows the prophet’s faith. When Isaiah delivered his prophecy, Jerusalem was inhabited, the temple standing, Babylon ruled the world and……..Cyrus was not yet born. Isaiah’s audience may have thought him ridiculous, even insane, yet Isaiah had faith in what God said.

Has God spoken promises to you via prophecy, the scriptures, personal encounter, things you ‘know’ inside, which have not come to pass? Pray them into being.

God promised to return his people from Babylon, but Daniel prayed for this outcome (Daniel 9:1-3, 19).

God promised to withhold and send rain, but Elijah prayed these events into being (James 5:17-18).

Returning his people and rebuilding the temple required God to move large numbers of people and overthrow an empire, yet he did it.

Martin Carter