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Imperialism as God's command?
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Imperialism as God's command? 8 months, 3 weeks ago #3231

  • Lael_N
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2 Chronicles 36:22-23

22 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:
23 “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, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”

Was this king a follower of God or was it all still just part of God punishing Israel? Like God using even people who want your harm to bless you or glorify Himself?

This seems like one of those verses people can just use to justify things like colonialism and imperialism... It says God stirred his heart to make A proclamation but was it THIS proclamation?

Could part of this be that since God's people (Israel/Judah/Jerusalem) were not obeying Him, He moved on? So passing the blessing to another? Because the promise was to make them prosperous, not to take over all kingdoms of the Earth... Or...?

There just seems to be a lot packed into these two verses and I'm not sure I get it.

Thank you!
Above all else, do God's work and follow His commands.

May blessings and peace be yours,
In the name of Jesus

- Laël Nethania
Last Edit: 8 months, 3 weeks ago by Lael_N.

Re: Imperialism as God's command? 8 months, 3 weeks ago #3239

  • Lael_N
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My devotion today actually gave me some answer to this question.

Habakkuk 2: 6-14

6“Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him,
Even mockery and insinuations against him
And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his—
For how long—
And makes himself rich with loans?’
7“Will not your creditors rise up suddenly,
And those who collect from you awaken?
Indeed, you will become plunder for them.
8“Because you have looted many nations,
All the remainder of the peoples will loot you—
Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land,
To the town and all its inhabitants.
9“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house
To put his nest on high,
To be delivered from the hand of calamity!
10“You have devised a shameful thing for your house
By cutting off many peoples;
So you are sinning against yourself.
11“Surely the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
12“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
And founds a town with violence!
13“Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts
That peoples toil for fire,
And nations grow weary for nothing?
14“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.

God is a just God. He is also God and what He says goes. He cares for all people and His vantage point is a lot broader than ours. No matter what, we are not supposed to cause injury to others nor are we supposed to oppress others or sit back and do nothing as people are oppressed. As God's people, as children of the Most High, we are called to righteousness and justice. We must grow to be more like God/Christ and that should be reflected in our actions, speech, and attitude.
Above all else, do God's work and follow His commands.

May blessings and peace be yours,
In the name of Jesus

- Laël Nethania

Re: Imperialism as God's command? 8 months, 3 weeks ago #3240

  • mythirst
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Some answers to your questions on 2 Chronicles 36:22-23

In order to better appreciate the depth of these truth from God's Word, it is important to have an idea of the context. First of all, these two verses are a reflection of what happened when Israel was exiled already and had spent some times there, more than 70 years. The king mentioned here was really special, Cyrus. He was known as Cyrus the Great, and reigned over Persia between 539-530 BC. This name was inexistent when Isaiah the prophet prophesied some 150 years before he was born, in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1,4. In His merci and grace, God had already prepared the return of Israel back and the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem by this pagan king - God is Sovereign and is in charge, even of pagan kingdoms. So, these two verses are actually accomplishment of Isaiah's prophecy. This king also restored the treasures of the temple (Ezra 1:4-11; 6:4-5). Daniel the prophet lived until the third year of this king and showed him the scroll of the prophecy from Isaiah (Daniel 6:28 and 10:1, until 536 BC for this last verse).

Now that I have provided a brief history for the understanding of the context, let us go to your questions. You may already have some understanding.

1. Was this king a follower of God or was it all still just part of God punishing Israel? Like God using even people who want your harm to bless you or glorify Himself?

Answer:
This was a pagan king that was used of God to fulfill His plan and accomplish what He had declared by Isaiah the prophet. Daniel worked with him in his old age, and so did Ezra whom he sent to rebuild the temple in Israel according to God's plans. He is not the first pagan king to be used of God and given a seemingly good title, Nebuchadnezzar was already used to exile - punish = Israel and called for that purpose the servant of God (Jeremiah 26:6)! He did not serve God, but God called him His servant for the purpose of fulfilling His will to deport His people Israel to punish them and cleanse them once and for all of all idolatry. So, yen God can use even those who are against His people to fulfill His plan and ultimately bring good to His people (Genesis 50:20).

2. This seems like one of those verses people can just use to justify things like colonialism and imperialism... It says God stirred his heart to make A proclamation but was it THIS proclamation?

Answer:
No, this cannot justify any imperialism, rather, it shows that even emperors are under God's control and can be used of God at will for God is in charge of the world He created. We might sometimes forget that God is the ultimate Sovereign and that all people, kings, princes, emperors, rich, poor, male and female are at His disposal at will. He just offer us grace to be used of Him for His purpose. This proclamation was just the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophetic words, an act of obedience and submission to God Who ultimately rule over kings and kingdoms.

Could part of this be that since God's people (Israel/Judah/Jerusalem) were not obeying Him, He moved on? So passing the blessing to another? Because the promise was to make them prosperous, not to take over all kingdoms of the Earth... Or...?

Answer:
God did not move on, He was actually fulfilling His plan of salvation. We have to understand that God is a missionary, He is a sending God. At creation He decided to associate us to Hs overall plan for the world when He gave us dominion over creation (Genesis 1:27-28). Then He came to us at the fall, Himself - even though the sentence was earned, death as He had said to Adam in Genesis 2:17. In chapter 3, after they sinned, He still came because He decided to save us - the God in mission to save His creation. And throughout the Bible, He will always be there and send prophets, then His Son - God the Son - Who gave Himself for our salvation, and then sent us as the Father sent Him (John 20:21). Here, God is not passing on, He is not giving His blessing to another. He is using "another" (to use your term) to rebuild the temple in fulfillment of His Word to Isaiah, in the preparation of the coming of His Son in Israel as they would be doing things according to His plan, and showing the contrast with the sacrifices for sins and other things with the ultimate sacrifice He will do of His own Son for us. His promise to make Israel prosperous - thus us - was just part of His reward in salvation and restoration of relationship, intimacy with His, for there is no real prosperity apart from Him (Matthew 6:33).

Hope this helps.

Be blessed.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lael_N

Re: Imperialism as God's command? 8 months, 3 weeks ago #3244

  • Lael_N
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Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:33

Amen! Thank you so much <3
Above all else, do God's work and follow His commands.

May blessings and peace be yours,
In the name of Jesus

- Laël Nethania
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