SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
“8 Moreover I issue a decree as to what you shall do for the elders of these Jews, for the building of this house of God: Let the cost be paid at the king’s expense from taxes on the region beyond the River; this is to be given immediately to these men, so that they are not hindered. 9 And whatever they need — young bulls, rams, and lambs for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the request of the priests who are in Jerusalem — let it be given them day by day without fail, 10 that they may offer sacrifices of sweet aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his sons.
11 Also I issue a decree that whoever alters this edict, let a timber be pulled from his house and erected, and let him be hanged on it; and let his house be made a refuse heap because of this. 12 And may the God who causes His name to dwell there destroy any king or people who put their hand to alter it, or to destroy this house of God which is in Jerusalem. I Darius issue a decree; let it be done diligently” Ezra 6:8-12.
“GOD IS NOT A MAN, THAT HE SHOULD LIE, NOR A SON OF MAN THAT HE SHOULD CHANGE HIS MIND. DOES HE SPEAK AND THEN NOT ACT? DOES HE PROMISE AND NOT FULFILL?” Numbers 23:19 (NIV).
Even though God has done so much in the lives of many Christians to warrant absolute trust in Him, it has not always been the case. Among the people who trust God the least are Christians. Many Christians fail to trust God when they should because of some life experiences, especially when their expectations are not met. But this lack of faith in the God who created the heavens and the earth is sinful because it ends up equating God to mankind. We sometimes feel that God has delayed in his promises to us when things do not happen the way we expected them to be. What we all need to remember at all times is that the God whom we serve is not a liar. Whatever he promises us shall be fulfilled in His own time. This fact is demonstrated in the story found in Ezra 6:8-12.
After King Darius had silenced Tattenai and his friends who were seeking an end to the rebuilding project, he continued to show how the Temple building project should be carried out till completion. The king gave several orders to the detractors of the Jews to ensure that the Temple building was completed. All these commands were exactly carried out. One unique thing about King Darius is that he respected the word of the LORD which came in the form of a decree by King Cyrus and was fully committed to its implementation.
If a pagan king had so much respect for the God he was not serving and obeyed everything that was required by , what should those of us who call ourselves children of God do? We are expected by God to obey His word which comes to us on daily basis and do as He requires of us. But this has not always been the case. Many of us listen to or read God’s word and take it for granted. We have become hearers and not the doers of the word (James 1:22). This is dangerous because our disobedience to God’s word could bring curses upon our lives. According to Deuteronomy 28:15, God might curse those who disobey His word.
“HOWEVER, IF YOU DO NOT OBEY THE LORD YOUR GOD AND DO NOT CAREFULLY FOLLOW ALL HIS COMMANDS AND DECREES I AM GIVING YOU TODAY, ALL THESE CURSES WILL COME UPON YOU AND OVERTAKE YOU” Deuteronomy 28:15 (NIV).
May the LORD help us to be obedient to His word at all times! According to Darius’ directive, the expenses of the Jews were to be fully paid for from the royal treasury. Hitherto, the Jews had been building with their own resources as well as those given to them by their neighbors just before they left Babylon. However, God’s intention was not for the Jews to struggle in getting materials and other resources for the building project. God’s intention was to ensure that His people got everything needed for the project. So he caused Darius to direct his people to supply to the Jews everything they needed for the project. This is the God whom we serve. It is not His intention for us to suffer in this life. God does not want us to go through hardships. That is why He is calling us to come to Him with our burdens.
“COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST” Matthew 11:28.
God provided for the needs of His people to ensure that the Temple building project was completed at the right time. He caused Darius to supply everything including the rams and bulls needed for the sacrifices on daily basis. The burdens on the shoulders of the Jews were removed by God and His people accomplished what He started in them more than a decade earlier. This shows that God never reneges on His promises to His people. He always fulfills every promise He makes to His people unlike what many men do.
The interesting thing is that God gave to His people everything they needed to rebuild the Temple. He ensured that His people did not struggle in obtaining supplies needed on daily basis. He also saw to it that they eventually finished what they might have thought was impossible to accomplish.
I would like to assure the people of God reading this message that God is still at work in His children to ensure that everything He has promised us will surely come to pass. It may delay, yet it shall be fulfilled. We also need to remember that God can supply all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) on daily basis. “NO DAY WILL PASS WITHOUT YOU GETTING WHAT YOU NEED. HE SHALL SURELY FULFILL ALL HIS PROMISES TO YOU.”
Even as He sees to the fulfillment of His promises to you, He will ensure that you will go through less pain. Remember that nothing can prevent you from getting what God has planned for you. You are surely getting there if you will continue to remain in the Lord Jesus Christ! Darius prayed in Ezra 6:12 as follows:
“MAY GOD, WHO 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!”
It is my prayer that God will destroy any individual or group of persons who will rise against you as the LORD elevates you to the level He is taking you to in Jesus’ Mighty Name!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.