«Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut».Isaiah 45:1
LET’s CLIMB into the time machine and go back to October 12, 539 BC. Two meaningful events are happening that night. On the one hand, the Persian armies have laid siege on the city of Babylon; on the other, the Babylonians are enjoying a party that is being held at the royal palace. How could King Belshazzar be enjoying a festive celebration while the city was besieged? Perhaps Herodotus, the historian, can help us understand why the Babylonians were feeling so confident.
According to the Greek historian, the city of Babylon was protected by a deep, wide trench full of water, followed by a wall that was 78 feet wide and 288 feet high. It was, simply speaking, an impenetrable city. However, Herodotus says the Persian armies managed to divert the waters of the Euphrates, cross through the river bed, and penetrate the city through its underwater iron and bronze doors, which were open that night. That way, they entered Babylon without waging a battle. When half of the city had been conquered, the Babylonians still knew nothing of what had happened, because, «as they were engaged in a festival, [they] continued dancing and revelling.»*
Almost two hundred years before the events Herodotus described, God had made a prediction about Cyrus: «Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: ‘l will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron’ » (Isaiah 45:1, 2). The gates of the safest city in the world were opened because God had already told Cyrus that He would open the gates before him.
Just as Cyrus did everything the Lord wanted, the Lord also did everything He had promised Cyrus. The Lord who opened the doors for Cyrus is the same One today who can open doors on earth and in heaven for you—doors that will not be shut.