I’ve heard a lot of evangelical leaders in America compare Donald Trump to the Persian King Cyrus from Isaiah 45 who, as a non-Jewish ruler, played a key role in allowing the exiled Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the temple.
The argument has been termed “vessel theology,” suggesting that God ordained Trump as a non-Christian to carry out God’s will in America as God’s “vessel” despite his character or religious shortcomings. This approach has many flaws, including the fact that America is not God’s chosen people (a sort of new Israel as adherents to this approach like to think) and King Cyrus was not the king over Israel (so the analogy would really require Trump to be a leader of a foreign nation who brought about good for America).
Contrary to the focus on Cyrus, I think if we desperately want to compare Trump with biblical leaders, I think he more closely aligns with a different non-Jewish king: Nebuchadnezzar. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is heavily featured in the book of Daniel, and he was one of the key subjects in the talk at church this past Sunday.Continue reading