Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
There are multiple Biblical passages where God refers to earthly kings or rulers by name (such as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (in Jeremiah 27:6) and Cyrus of Persia (in Isaiah 44:28-45:4) as His servant, His shepherd, or even His anointed, although they were not Israelites -- and, in fact, may have been hostile to Israel. This clearly demonstrates God's sovereignty over the entire earth. God used these Gentile rulers as instruments not only for carrying out His judgment against Israel for its sin and idolatry by conquering Israel and sending its people into exile, but also for later acts of mercy toward Israel, such as Cyrus giving the command that the Jewish exiles in his kingdom were to return to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-4). However, this does not mean that God approved of their rule, since the Bible also foretells the future conquest of those same kings or their descendants (as in Jeremiah 27:7). In the same way, God later used the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus as His instrument to fulfill prophecy through Augustus' decree that Israelites were to travel to their ancestral cities for taxation purposes, leading directly to Jesus being born in Bethlehem (as had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier in Micah 5:2), rather than in Nazareth (Luke 2:1-7).
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.