taking the words of Jesus seriously

Why on earth does the Religious Right cling so desperately to Donald Trump’s presidency?

One answer has to do with a supposed biblical prophecy that Trump has come to fulfill, involving King Cyrus of Old Testament fame. Cyrus the Great was a Persian king, foretold by the prophet Isaiah and used by God following the conquest of the Babylonians around 539 BC. Forty-seven years earlier, in 586 B.C., the Babylonians had conquered Jerusalem. The Jewish population had either died or been forced into exile. Now along comes Cyrus and conquers the conquerors. It should be noted that Persian kings didn’t handle their captives the same way the Babylonians did. Instead of scattering their conquests, the Persians generally worked with their captives to rebuild what had been destroyed during the campaign. They also allowed them to continue their own religious practices.

Long story short, God used Cyrus, a man from a people who did not worship Yahweh, to accomplish His purposes by returning the Jewish people to Jerusalem and promising to help rebuild their temple.

This guy Cyrus was the real deal. He may not have been one of the chosen people, but he and his mission were foretold, chronicled, and remembered as a time when God used a non-believer as a vessel to accomplish His purposes.

Meanwhile, Here In The Present…

2557 years later, in a completely unrelated event, Donald Trump moved the American Embassy from its long-time location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a political gesture prompted by the American political right as a message of solidarity with Israel. Needless to say, the Israelis were overjoyed that America recognized Jerusalem as their capital.

So overjoyed, in fact, that Benjamin Netanyahu, the president of Israel, said this:

“We remember the proclamation of King Cyrus the Great–Persian King. Twenty-five hundred years ago, he proclaimed the Jewish exiles in Babylon can come back and rebuild our temple in Jerusalem….Mr. President, this will be remembered by our people throughout the ages.”

Now there are a number of differences between King Cyrus’s situation and Donald Trump’s, the most notable being this: Cyrus the Great’s purpose was declared by God and foretold by the prophet Isaiah. Trump’s action was political, not declared by God or foretold by a biblical prophet. You would think this would have been the end of it. It should have been the end of it. Sadly, it was not.

The Aliens Have Landed

Remember the story of the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast?

Orson Welles narrated and directed an adaptation of HG Well’s novel War of the Worlds as a live Halloween broadcast on October 30, 1938. While some came in late on the disclaimer, others just didn’t put two and two together. Their regularly scheduled programming was increasingly interrupted by a series of news bulletins. Martians had landed in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, and were blasting humans with heat rays. The situation worsened to the point where poisonous smoke was floating over New York City, and the military was powerless to stop it.

Widespread, national panic ensued. It wasn’t a real attack, but it scared the living daylights out of much of the nation.

There Were No Aliens, and There Is No Prophecy

It’s funny how things get going like that. I submit that the same mob mentality has morphed one political move and Netanyahu’s grateful response into a massive religious lie. Starting with a book written about Trump’s faith, it snowballed into a cultural phenomenon involving every possible means of communication available to red-blooded Americans. Many people, including people I know, swear by it. That’s why they ignore, gloss-over, or attempt to explain away actions by the president that clearly are not ordained from above. Like perpetrating genocide upon our Kurdish allies, or obstruction of justice, or treason.

You don’t mess with vessel, right? And they believe Donald Trump is a vessel used by God.

I believe that the Cyrus Prophecy over Donald Trump is a mass hysterical reaction to a fictitious assumption, just like the panic over War of the Worlds. It’s just that everyone back then was hoping and praying it wasn’t real.

The bottom line, folks, is that any prophecy spoken or written over Donald Trump isn’t biblical. That frees us all up to let it go and see him for who he truly is. You won’t be messing with the vessel. But you could be saving the world.

About The Author

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Rachel Ophoff met Jesus when she was 30 years old. For the last 34 years, they’ve bonded over addiction and recovery, beauty and brokenness, and even the loss of her daughter on a church outing. In the Evangelical Church, she found the family she never had. Now she is watching those she loves fall prey to the Religious Right’s quest for political power and is fighting the good fight by writing and speaking to remind people it’s all about Jesus.

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