I remember the excitement of when my son was born. I’d waited so long to be a father and was thrilled to finally bring my little “Squeaker” home from the hospital. It was summertime, and Daniel easily fell asleep on my bare chest. The only sounds he made were tiny squeaks. It was wonderful.
After a short time, things changed. He cried when he was hungry. He cried when his tummy hurt. He cried when his diaper needed changed. He cried when he was tired. It didn’t matter what time it was on my clock, he cried when he wanted. And for about a year, my son controlled when I ate, slept, showered, and worked. The king of the castle had been deposed by a baby! Now, almost 16 years later, I’m still waiting to be king again.
Earthly kings are certain that they are in control of their kingdoms. That kingdom may be as large as a nation, as wealthy as a corporation, or as localized as a house. In reality, no matter who the king is, or the extent of his kingdom, he is not really the master of all things.
Ezra 1:1 begins by noting that it was the first year of Cyrus king of Persia. Cyrus had ruled the tiny kingdom of Persia (modern Iran) for several years. The great neighboring empire of Babylon had been in decline due to high taxes, corrupt leadership, and people who consumed rather than produced. When Cyrus attacked Babylon, the people so despised their own government, that they didn’t oppose the invasion.
Without opposition, almost overnight, King Cyrus became ruler over the greatest empire in the world. But he wasn’t really in control. In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia … the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom: “All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me …” (Ezra 1:1).
The next time you think you are the king of your castle, remember that both our worldly kings and their kingdoms – whatever their size or scope – still belong to Jesus, the King of king and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).