I’m so excited to hear the feedback about the book of Nehemiah that we just finished. It seemed like the right book at the right time. Now, we’re stepping back a book to Ezra – a bit out of order, so don’t be confused. This book begins with a repeat of the end of 2 Chronicles with Cyrus, king of Persia, asking for volunteers to return to Jerusalem to build a temple. It actually goes back farther than that with Isaiah prophesying that Cyrus would be used by God to restore Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple (the prophecy took place before Cyrus was born):
When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command that Jerusalem be rebuilt and that the Temple be restored.” – Isaiah 44:28
So it is clear that God’s plan was in place and nothing was going to stop it. All the plans were in place, Bablylon was punished for destroying Jerusalem (by Cyrus the Great) and, as prophecyed, Cyrus “feels compelled” to help restore Jerusalem.
Does this mean God can use non-Christians to complete His work? You bet!
Imagine if you were Cyrus and this man named Daniel came to you and showed you the prophecy in the Bible where you restored Jerusalem. Wouldn’t you be “compelled?”
The hope for me in this chapter is that no matter my situation, no matter how overwhelmed I feel or surrounded, God can (and does) even the playing field in an instant. He is not restricted or limited by resources. He can (and does) send help from unusual places that I would never dream.
The theme of rebuilding continues. What would God have you spending your time rebuilding today?