Friday, December 31, 2010

Faithful Friday Faves: Ezra

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Long passage this week...there's a story here, which I'll summarize:

The Israelites had been given permission by Cyrus, king of Persia, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. They got the foundations laid, but folks round about got nervous that the Jews were rebuilding and harassed them so relentlessly that construction on the temple came to a halt. Then, these obstructionists wrote a letter to Darius asking if Cyrus really and truly had issued such permission. It was duly researched and found to be true, and Darius sent this reply back to the folks who opposed the Jews in their building project:

"Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and you, their fellow officials of that province, stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site.

Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God:
The expenses of these men are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans- Euphrates, so that the work will not stop. Whatever is needed -- young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem -- must be given them daily without fail, so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well- being of the king and his sons.

Furthermore, I decree that if anyone changes this edict, a beam is to be pulled from his house and he is to be lifted up and impaled on it. And for this crime his house is to be made a pile of rubble." - Ezra 6:6-11

Is that not the coolest thing? Not only were the Jews vindicated, but their oppressors were ordered to help them and give them whatever they needed.

The thing is, the Jews themselves had nothing to do with their relief; their oppressors brought it about themselves.

Can you imagine being one of the Jews who got up every day, day after day, and saw the unfinished temple from his window...suddenly finding out that the king had ordered the very people who were causing the delays to facilitate the completion of it?

We never know when God is going put everything into reverse and make up for the time lost. 'Cause that's the way He does things...

What situation in my life am I seeing as unchanged day after day that I can trust God to 'suddenly' cause the opposition to become my support system?

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