SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
“The Decree of Darius.
1 Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search was made in the archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. 2 And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found, and in it a record was written thus:
3 In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: “Let the house be rebuilt, the place where they offered sacrifices; and let the foundations of it be firmly laid, its height sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, 4 with three rows of heavy stones and one row of new timber. Let the expenses be paid from the king’s treasury. 5 Also let the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple which is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and taken back to the temple which is in Jerusalem, each to its place; and deposit them in the house of God” —
6 Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the region beyond the River, and Shethar-Boznai, and your companions the Persians who are beyond the River, keep yourselves far from there. 7 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God on its site” Ezra 6:1-7.
“MOSES ANSWERED THE PEOPLE, “DO NOT BE AFRAID. STAND FIRM AND YOU WILL SEE THE DELIVERANCE THE LORD WILL BRING YOU TODAY. THE EGYPTIANS YOU SEE TODAY YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN” Exodus 14:13 (NIV).
Our studies from the beginning of the Book of Ezra has so far shown that we are surrounded by enemies who want to bring us down and cause us to lose focus on what God has ordained us for. In the previous edition we saw how the enemies bounced back to work against the building of God’s Temple which was being carried out by the Jews. The Jews had resumed the building project after ten years and thought that they were going to have a smooth building project but that was not the case. The enemy struck again by sending a letter to King Darius asking him to investigate the work being done by the Jews and possible stop them as King Artaxerxes had done. They succeeded during the time of Artarxerxes, but did they succeed during the time of King Darius? Let us journey through Ezra 6:1-7.
King Darius succeeded King Artaxerxes as king of the Medo-Persians. As soon as he ascended the throne the Jews were emboldened to resume the rebuilding project. As soon as they started the building project, the people surrounding the Jews sent a letter to Darius as we found in the previous edition. King Darius took the letter seriously and started investigating into the building project of the Jews from the objective point of view. He was not as partial as Artarxerxes was. Artarxerxes only saw negatives about the Jews but Darius saw Cyrus’ decree which allowed the Jews to go back to their land and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. It is very hard for people who dislike us or even hate us to see anything good about us. There are some people who only see negative things about others because they are unwilling to see any positives about them. They could even change the positive things about us to look negative all in the name of hatred. But God was with His people, Israel, and caused Darius to see Cyrus’ good decree concerning them.
It is my prayer that all those who have any negative thoughts concerning you will be exposed. I pray that the LORD will cause even your enemies to see and say good things about you in the year 2014 and beyond!
When King Cyrus investigated the issue brought before him by Tattenai and his friends, he found out that indeed Cyrus had decreed that the Jews should be allowed to rebuild their cities and its Temple. According to his findings, Cyrus had decreed:
“LET THE TEMPLE BE REBUILT AS A PLACE TO PRESENT SACRIFICES, AND LET ITS FOUNDATIONS BE LAID” Ezra 6:3.
The decree further stated: “THE COSTS ARE TO BE PAID BY THE ROYAL TREASURY.”
The above indicates clearly that Cyrus had decreed that the Jews should be allowed to rebuild the Temple and use it to offer sacrifices to the LORD and all its costs should be paid from the royal treasury. This is indeed an indication that YHWH is the God of restoration who has good thoughts concerning all His people who draw near to Him. He stirred the heart of a pagan king to give back to His people everything they had lost. He also forced them to decree to pay for the cost of the building they had destroyed at the time of Nebuchadnezzar. May the LORD cause you to regain everything you have lost in the past! May the LORD God Almighty cause your enemies to pay from their treasury everything they have destroyed in your life in Jesus’ name! This is exactly what God did in the life of the Jews.
King Darius did not just read Cyrus’ decree; he was committed to seeing to it that it was carried through. He obeyed the decree of Cyrus and consequently silenced those who wanted to bring the project to a halt again. Darius ordered Tattenai and his friends as follows:
“….STAY AWAY FROM THEM. DO NOT INTERFERE ON THE WORK OF THIS TEMPLE OF GOD. LET THE GOVERNOR OF THE JEWS AND THE JEWISH ELDERS REBUILD THIS HOUSE OF GOD AT ITS SITE” Ezra 6:6-7.
By this order, the enemies were silenced. The enemies were stopped from bringing an end to the building project. They could not stop what God had planned to do in the life of His people. Many are the things enemies plan concerning us. In fact, many are the things the devil is planning against you and your family. But the God whom we serve day and night is fighting for all His people including you. God will not allow the enemy to have his way against His people at all times. The enemy may succeed temporarily but God will always vindicate His people who remain in Him at all times.
May the God who silenced the enemies of the Jews silence all those who are planning evil against you, your marriage, your business, your ministry, your health etc. May all your enemies be put to shame in the year 2014 and beyond because of the blood which was shed for us on Calvary!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.