SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY (January 22, 2014)
“5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.
7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; 8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives, 10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles” Ezra 1:5-10.
“I WILL REPAY YOU FOR THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN — THE GREAT LOCUST AND THE YOUNG LOCUST, THE OTHER LOCUSTS AND THE LOCUST SWARM — MY GREAT ARMY THAT I SENT AMONG YOU” Joel 2:25 (NIV).
In the previous edition of Spiritual Nourishment for Today, we looked at the first part of this message. We realized that the God whom we serve is the God of restoration. It was found that God is capable of taking whatever wealth the unrighteous have acquired and give them to his righteous ones. This was seen in the instruction Cyrus gave to the people as follows:
“AND THE PEOPLE OF EVERY PLACE WHERE SURVIVORS MAY NOW BE LIVING ARE TO PROVIDE HIM WITH SILVER AND GOLD, WITH GOODS AND LIVESTOCK, AND WITH FREEWILL OFFERINGS FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD IN JERUSALEM” Ezra 1: 4 NIV.
The above commandment was heeded to as we found in the previous edition. In this edition, we want to continue to find out how God showed to his people and for that matter, all of us that he is the God of restoration.
After God had instructed the Persians through Cyrus to offer whatever the Jews needed for the rebuilding of the temple, all of them complied and supplied the Jews with livestock, gold, silver among others. But that was not the end of God’s plan of restoration for the Jews. God caused Cyrus to bring out everything Nebuchadnezzar took from God’s Temple when he invaded Jerusalem about seventy years before. This is the true restoration-getting back what we lost in the past. This shows that indeed we serve a covenant keeping God who always ensures that his people are restored to the place he originally placed them. God promised to restore his people after seventy years and he did when the time came. He can do the same for you and me. He can bring back to us everything we lost to the enemy and in addition take what they have acquired and give to his faithful ones. It may take longer than we may expect. But let us trust the covenant keeping God. We may not know how; we may not know when. What we know is that God will do it for us!
God caused Cyrus to instruct his treasurer called Mithredath, to bring out of the temple of their god everything Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple of Jerusalem. This was carefully adhered to and soon the treasurer brought out everything belonging to the Temple of Jerusalem. He brought out 30 gold dishes, 1000 silver dishes, 29 silver pans, 30 gold bowls, 410 matching silver bowls and 1000 other articles. It is amazing that the items taken from the Temple of Jerusalem during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar were not destroyed even after seventy years. It was not destroyed because God planned it so. God intended that after some years, his people will be freed and allowed to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. This lends support to the fact that God’s promises are always fulfilled. God ensured that whatever the enemy took away from his people were kept safely until they were returned to them. I do not know what you have lost in the past year or years to the enemy, but I would like to assure you that the God who restored the items taken from the Temple will give back everything you have lost in due time.
From the above, it is very important for all Christians to remember that as believers we may sometimes lose some things belonging to us. Some may never come back to us after losing them. This is because some of the things we lose are for our own good. However, we can trust that whatever the Lord plans to restore to us will all be given back to us in his own time. This is because our God has good plans for his people. Just as he planned to rescue the whole world from the hands of Satan by giving us his son Jesus Christ, he can retrieve everything Satan has robbed us of, as long as we allow Jesus to take absolute control of our lives. If we forsake God, he will also forsake us. But if we remain in him, he shall restore everything we have lost. I want to assure you today that God is willing to restore everything you lost in the previous year to you this year. Just trust and remain in him.
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
See also: The God of Restoration (Part 1)
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.