Just When You Thought… (Ezra 5-7)

May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem.  I Darius have decreed it.  Let it be carried out with diligence. (Ezra 6:12)

There are times in life when a situation looks impossible.  The way out seems unfathomable, and we just don’t know what to do.  In fact, sometimes the situation seems so impossible that even God couldn’t step in and do something.  And yet, I think those are the situations where God desires to step in and change things.

The surviving Israelites in Ezra had been given the responsibility of rebuilding the temple.  However, they faced undo opposition by politicians who were afraid of Israel actually regaining some power.  So they sent a letter to King Darius to recommend that the rebuilding be put to an end.

Now let’s pause for a second.  Why would Darius have any interest in the temple being rebuilt?  When Israel was once a powerful nation, all other peoples feared her.  Why would Darius pave the way for this to happen again?  I believe it’s because God stepped in.  God moved the heart of King Darius in such a way that he decreed that no one should get in the way of Israel’s rebuilding of the temple.  He provided not only political support, but he also gave generously to the project.

God is capable of doing anything – even moving the hearts of secular leaders who don’t submit themselves to Him.  Don’t be discouraged in your situation.  Stay faithful to the Lord, and remain steadfast in prayer.  If God has called you to do something, you may just be surprised to see that, just when you thought all hope was lost, He steps in and helps.

God, please keep me from being discouraged when ill-intentioned people seemingly thwart the plans that You have given me.  Help me to have clarity in the things that You’ve called me to do, and then give me a firm trust that You will give me the help I need in order to accomplish them.  In the end, may You be glorified.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.

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