SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 READINGS... Ezra 4:7-8:36
There will always be opposition to the work of God. There will always be those who will use lies, deceit, and hyperbole in order to stop the people of God from doing what they are called to do. Don’t be surprised by this, expect it. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you [a]will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Our reading today begins with the exiles who have returned to Jerusalem facing opposition from their enemies, who did not want them to rebuild the city. These ungodly men sent a biased letter to Artaxerxes the king of Persia. The king looked into the history of the region, became concerned about the rebellious nature of the Jews, and orders them to stop building Jerusalem. Years later it is time for Ezra the priest of God to return to Jerusalem. The Lord gives him favor with Artaxerxes, and he is commissioned by this pagan king, to re-establish the worship to take place in the Temple. Even those who were enemies of the Jewish people were ordered to help pay for what was needed for Ezra to do this. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord moved in a king’s heart to have the enemies of God to actually pay for the work of God. Don’t ever be worried, regardless of what your eyes see, that God has somehow lost control. It is God who controls the hearts of kings. Yes, kings and world leaders, will do their evil…but God is greater than them, and can turn their evil to His good. Remember what Joseph said to his brothers who did evil to him. “What you intended for evil, God used for good.” Our God is able…don’t ever forget that…no matter what this world does, or where it is headed.
Please share your thoughts from today’s readings. Keep your eyes on God. Don’t be to shaken by what the ungodly are decreeing or doing. God is in control!
TOMORROW’S READINGS… Ezra 9:1-10:44 & Nehemiah 1:1-2:20