Study the book of Ezra. As you do, the more you are in awe of God’s meticulous sovereignty, let that impress upon you that for those apart from Christ, they don’t need a miracle. They don’t need a new start. They need a new heart, which only comes through New Covenant.
One of the most incredible prophecies in the Bible is found in Isaiah 44:24-45:1:
I am Yahweh… who says of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose”; saying of Jerusalem, “She shall be built,” and of the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” Thus says Yahweh to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed…”
Isaiah recorded those words, before Cyrus was born. Before Persia was a world power. Before Judah was sent into captivity. Before Daniel even was, Isaiah had a word from the Lord about a Persian king who would show kindness to Yahweh’s people.
To appreciate how dramatic of a prophecy this is, you have to understand that when it was given, the Medo-Persian Empire was not dominant. While Israel had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians, Judah—and Jerusalem along with her—was still in the land, preparing to fight the Babylonians. In modern terms, Iraq was the threat, not Iran. Jerusalem’s confidence was misplaced, but high nonetheless.
In order to combat Judah’s arrogant notion that she would avoid God’s wrath forever, Yahweh sent Isaiah with a series of visions. Judah would fall, that much was certain. Beyond that, God would send them into exile, yet he would still send a Savior, Yahweh himself, born to a Virgin, who would then suffer and die, stricken by God for the sins of his people.
But before any of that would happen, God would miraculously return Judah back to Jerusalem. Her people would come home, and dwell again in the land.
And to ensure that they didn’t take the credit for their return, Yahweh told them beforehand how it would happen—the Babylonians would fall, and in their place the Persians would rule. And one Persian in particular would direct Judah back into the land, “and Jerusalem shall be rebuilt” (Isaiah 44:28).
In order to direct people away from politics and to God, Yahweh does the unprecedented—he calls out the name of the person who would rule Persia, 150 years before he was even born.