Trump: Cyrus or Nebuchadnezzar?

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At my last pastor’s fellowship meeting we got into a discussion regarding President Trump. I think it’s fair to say that the group as a whole are not among the evangelicals who seem to think the President can do no wrong On the other hand no one believes he is a Russian spy or the anti-Christ either.

I made the comment that at best I saw Trump as a type of Cyrus the Great of ancient Persia. The passage below explains my reasoning:


2Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah—the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!’ ”

2 Chronicles 36:22-23,

Cyrus was the king that made the empire of the Persians and Medes what it was. The empire itself was a polyglot empire that consisted of many languages and people groups. Among them were Hebrew captives that had been removed from their homeland by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar a number of years before.

According to the passage the Lord moved Cyrus to allow the Hebrews to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple. This temple is known as the Second Temple because the Babylonians had destroyed the first one known as Solomon’s Temple. The Second Temple was a modest structure that factors into the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible. Herod the Great elaborated on what was built and that Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. All that remains today is known as the wailing wall.

The point I was trying to make with my friends is that 1) God guides earthly rulers for better or worse and uses them ultimately for his glory and 2) in the case of Cyrus the Lord clearly moved Cyrus to look favorably on his chosen people. That just seems obvious.

I tend to look at our governing authorities in the same way by asking the questions, does the President or State Governor (or other governmental entity) look favorably on Christians (or at least treat all faiths fairly according to the U.S. Constitution). For whatever Trump’s faults he does seem inclined to treat conservative Christians fairly-something the mainstream media and political left does not do.

One of the pastor’s at the meeting agreed with my comments but added that he thought of Trump as a type of Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar is one of the real bad boys in the Bible. He was the king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire and one of the primary actors that brought down the Assyrians, the other bad boys who had conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel and dispersed the people. When Nebuchadnezzar brought down the Southern Kingdom of Judah as an instrument of God’s judgment he destroyed Solomon’s Temple and virtually erased the kingdom transporting many captives back to Babylon. One of the captives was Daniel the prophet.

The story of the Hebrew captives in Babylon revolve around Daniel. Through Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar looks upon the Hebrew captives with a degree of favor. This is what Nebuchadnezzar had to say after the fiery furnace episode with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego:

Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. “Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.”Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of everylanguage that live in all the earth: “May your peace abound! “It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. “How great are His signs And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom And His dominion is from generation to generation.

Daniel 3:28–4:3(NASB95)

Later in the Book of Daniel we see Nebuchadnezzar brought low by the Lord as he goes temporally insane eating grass like a cow and so forth. After he recovers he says this:


34“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ “At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me.“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

Daniel 4:34–37 (NASB95)

That is one extraordinary theological statement!


Proverbs 29:23(NASB95)
A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

My friend would agree with my analysis of Cyrus but would substitute Nebuchadnezzar because, 1) God guides earthly rulers for better or worse and uses them ultimately for his glory and 2) in the case of Nebuchadnezzar the Lord clearly moved Nebuchadnezzar to look favorably on his chosen people.

There was not a discussion as whether or not Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus suddenly trusted in Yahweh although Nebuchadnezzar’s speech above does give some evidence as to the possibility.

I had a different discussion sometime ago with a different friend who is a strong supporter of President Trump. He believes that Trump is a believer while I am skeptical although I acknowledge the President says theologically correct things at times. His comment in the State of the Union Address regarding abortion and people (babies) being created in the image of God (the personhood issue) is a theologically correct statement and a recognition of our Creator and the intrinsic personhood of humans.

My counter-point to my friend would be, it’s good to see the President make some theologically correct statements but I’d rather see the kind of humility exhibited by Nebuchadnezzar exhibited by the President before he makes theologically correct statements. I recall the President saying around the time of his election that he has never asked God for forgiveness because he never has seen the need. I do pray he does see the need.

So, who is Trump more like, Cyrus or Nebuchadnezzar? Both of those ancient kings were used by God to demonstrate God’s sovereignty and to turn king’s hearts toward a more favorable appraisal of His chosen people.

I think I’ll concede to my pastor friend and grant Nebuchadnezzar, given the information we have is more like Trump than Cyrus. What seems abundantly clear is that God puts on thrones those he desires and that he can use them in any way he choses. Sometimes it works out for believers and at other times it does not. Either way, it’s for God’s glory and his plans will not be thwarted.


1The king’s heart is likechannels of water in the hand of the Lord;He turns it wherever He wishes.


Proverbs 21:1(NASB95)
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Demand and Supply

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The title is not a mistake. Let me explain.

The news reported that President Trump wanted to use the money seized from El Chapo’s drug empire to fund the wall.

Various news organizations reported that El Chapo’s cartel was responsible for 100,000 deaths (murders) over the last decade and that El Chapo’s personal worth was around 17 billion in US dollars. If true, that would go a long way in funding a wall.

I wish to say at this point that I’m not against the wall. I am all for safe and legal immigration but what we have now is certainly not legal nor safe for US citizens or the masses trying to get in. If a wall helps, so be it. Ultimately a wall will not help all that much with the drugs for one simple reason.

The reason is Demand and Supply. If there is a demand someone will supply it if there is money to be made.

El Chapo was a business man-an evil one, but a business man none-the-less. Think a Mexican god-father here. What does a business do? It sells what people want. A business or a godfather makes money by supplying a particular demand.

Consider our own laws regarding prohibition. Alcohol was banned but it did nothing to curb demand. The laws may have made alcohol harder to get but bootleggers (like the Capone mob in Chicago) managed to supply the demand.

As long as Americans demand drugs there will be an El Chapo seeking to supply them. This does not exonerate an evil criminal; but it does say something about those choosing drug addiction.

Yes, I said choosing drug addiction. I would grant that addictions feel like a disease but on the other hand it’s a disease a person chooses to get (or risk getting).

The human heart is the problem. Scripture is quite clear about our propensity to sin and worship gods other than the God of the Bible (Rom. 1:18-32). Walls, fences, barriers can assist in controlling a problem or a life-dominating sin but unless the heart changes the best you can hope for is some behavioral change that may or may not stick.

This does not mean drug addicts will not need rehab; in many cases they do.

I say use El Chapo’s 14 billion to help drug addicts get off the drugs and to educate others as to what drug addiction actually looks like and how it destroys lives. My prayer is that Christians would be involved so they can point to Christ as the person’s ultimate solution to our biggest problem. That would be change that sticks.

Breaking free from that which enslaves.

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