Isaiah 45:4 says:
I call you by your name,
I name you, though you do not know me.5
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God
This is the Lord speaking, describing a rank pagan - Cyrus, whom God used to revive a despondent Israel. What is striking is not why God uses an unbeliever to rescue His people but rather how God shows His incomparable uniqueness by saving strangers. Rather than thinking of Cyrus as pagan cog in God's salvation machine, better to think of him as a type of every true believer, every follower of Christ. In other words, God always saves strangers - He never saved a friend. God never saved someone because they had done their part. God never saved anyone by merely giving a helping a hand. God saves sinners. He saves the lost. He saves those who don't know Him and don't know that they need Him. He delights to rescue those who are without hope in this world. He delights to take dry bones and by His Spirit brings life into existence. And God does this by sending Jesus to die in our place. Some gods might apparently die for good men but our God died for bad men - our God died for the worst of men - traitors, terrorists and tax collectors. God clothes strangers and enemies with Honour so that the world may know that they have never seen a love like this. That they have never met a God like this. Do you know Him?