God uses unlikely people.
God is the hero moving on hearts, compelling and changing them to act on behalf of others.
He can and does change hearts to move his plan forward.
We spent last week resting and retreating. Surrounded by beautiful views, comfy chairs, a crackling fire, while wrapped in glorious quiet.
Ordinarily, I’m a homebody, anxious to get back to the comfort of The Wilderness Place. However, leaving a place that had us feeling far removed from everpresent worries and difficult circumstances was hard. I have found myself wrestling for contentment.
Re-entry into our ordinary everyday life has been hard, and my heart resists with each beat.
God uses unlikely people and changes hearts.
Earlier in Ezra, chapter five, Tattenai along with the other governors in the province compose a letter to Darius the king:
“To Darius the king, all peace. Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands. Then we asked those elders and spoke to them thus: ‘Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?’ We also asked them their names, for your information, that we might write down the names of their leaders. And this was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.” Ezra 5:7-11 (ESV)
As a result, Darius issues a decree:
“Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in Babylonia, in the house of the archives where the documents were stored.” Ezra 6:1 (ESV)
Therefore, God uses unlikely people, and Darius reinstates the order made by Cyrus.
“Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your associates the governors who are in the province Beyond the River, keep away. Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site.
Moreover, I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River. And whatever is needed—bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem require—let that be given to them day by day without fail, that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.
Also I make a decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it, and his house shall be made a dunghill. May the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.” Ezra 6:6-12 (ESV)
In summary, God brings blessings from opposition by using unlikely people.
How does that play out in Ezra, chapter six?
- The opposition is told to stay away.
- They are not to interfere with the rebuilding.
- Darius makes the governors and leaders of the region pay for the rebuilding.
- He also demands they pay for worship to resume including sacrifices.
Verse ten tells us Darius is not selfless in his plan, he asked for prayer on his behalf and for his sons.
“let that be given to them day by day without fail, that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons”
God uses unlikely people.
God is the hero moving on hearts, compelling and changing them to act on behalf of others. He can and does change hearts to move his plan forward.
What does this mean for us?
When opposition occurs in our lives and our plans, do we react as the people here did?
Do we move forward in faith and trust or do we see the opposition and the roadblocks, and quit?
Would we wallow in hopelessness and despair?
Or, would we trust the same God who acted in Ezra to act on our behalf?
Remember, these are real people in Ezra with real stories.
This story shows us a God, The God, who loves his people and always does what is right. And if He does it for them, can’t we trust He will do the same for us?
Psalm 18:19 says this:
“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” (ESV)
Our God delights in us! He is the hero of our stories, let’s not miss him, rather let us see him even in the opposition.
I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Wilderness Guide,
*Scripture quotes are from Bible.com
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“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word