Don’t ever believe the lie that the Bible is boring and irrelevant for today. No matter how often I read it I remain amazed at the relevancy of it even in 2015! This morning I was reading in Ezra. Ezra was a priest, a scribe and expert in the words of the Lord’s commandments (Ezra 7.11). It is fairly safe to presume Ezra wrote the Old Testament account bearing his name – he documents the return to Jerusalem covering 120 years, including the end of captivity in Babylon, in two segments. The first being chapters 1 – 6 of the book. These chapters tell the story of the rebuilding of the Temple, and chapters 7 – 10 recount Ezra’s actual return to the City. It is chapter six that got my attention this morning!
The Temple was near completion and in Assyria, King Darius ordered a search for a document that outlined what exactly was to be done with the Temple treasures, which were taken into captivity the same time the people were taken out of Jerusalem and into Babylon. That particular scroll was found (read about it here) and every minute detail was carried out with diligence, under a death threat from Darius to anyone who would hinder it.
Ah! Their Temple was now complete – even the articles of the house of God were restored. The returned exiles celebrated The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy!
It is verse 22 that causes me great excitement!
The LORD made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
How do we apply that to our “right now?”
Yes, times have changed – but God has not. Have you been told by someone in authority that you can’t have that job? You can’t go to that school? You don’t qualify for that mortgage or lease? I am here to remind us that God holds the heart and mind of the king (the authority) and He can turn it however He wants it to go. God can take no’s and turn them into yes’es – I’ve seen it happen. I’ve witnessed the change in a person’s decision – nothing can thwart God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will. Absolutely nothing. Don’t be shy with God. Be bold and brave. Go out on a limb. He will be there to catch you – the beauty of this? When we ask, in faith and trust, He is not going to give us something not-good for us. Remember, He sees the beginning from the end and all the in-between stuff. God is a game-changer.
He holds and turns hearts.
I thought perhaps we could all use a reminder!
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