“So that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of he king and his sons. May God, who has 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.” (Ezra6:10, 12)
The king of Babylon, king Cyrus in his first year in reign, issued a decree that those who desired to return to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem could do so and even noted all of the gold and silver taken from the temple and it was to be returned for the rebuilding. This is the decree that king Darius referred to. Darius called for his people to look for the decree and it was found and given to him. So he authorized the continuation of the rebuild.
These two kings were non-believers, believing in the gods of eh vassal nations of Persia, but God changed their attitudes to do what was needed for His people. Darius realized the value of prayer to Israel’s God. God as part of His plan for the people to rebuild the temple, used the two pagan kings to serve His purposes.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You set a plan in action long before anyone else knew what was happening and You changed the hearts of two key rulers, to implement the plan and also to participate in funding its construction. The people prayed to our God and He listened to them, as he also does to us. This did not occur overnight, but the people were assured that it would and their obedience to God, that allowed all of it to come into being. In Christ’s name and our obedience through faith that we pray to You O Lord. We seek to lead obedient lives such as the people who rebuilt the temple, and to learn that it is through our commitment to God, that He commits to us. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Start ‘Standing on the Promises’ instead of just sitting on the premises.”
“These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah56:7)
Here, Isaiah the prophet promised salvation will be available to all, and all will come to the Temple to pray. Therefore Jesus called it a “house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17). God want all people to pray to Him, and He sets no preconditions.
Wouldn’t this be amazing to witness?! This is all part of God’s plan for His creation. I don’t know when, nor does anyone else, but if God promises this to happen, then at the right time, it will come to fruition.
“Then, they cried to the Lord. ‘O Lord, please to not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O Lord, have done as you pleased.’ Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:14–17)
The first thing we glean out of this story, is that the sailors had called to their own gods (verse 5). They understood Jonah’s reference to the universal God. Pagans are welcome at God’s altar when they learn to acknowledge Him. Prophets prayers lack meaning when not backed by obedience.
The sailors had prayed to their gods and nothing happened. They prayed to God and as soon as they threw Jonah into the water, the sea came to an immediate calm and a fish came along and swallowed up Jonah. He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish. Any marine scientist will tell you this is impossible, but for the God who created the universe and this world and everything in the sea, on land, in the mountains, into space, etc., I going to continue to believe that it is true, as he learned obedience and went on to announce to all of Nineveh the message from God and all came to their knees and believed. Any questions?