God sent Ezra, His instruction
Week 21: 16/05/2023. Tue
Ezra was sent from exile back to Jerusalem. On the surface, we see the tremendous contributions of king Artaxerxes, to supply not only "whatever Ezra the priest ... requires" (7:21), but also the temple rites' materials requirements (silver, wheat, wine, oil and salt, 7:22).
So much for the ceremonies. But a restored relationship with The LORD required more than materials. Your worship experience at church is more than experiencing the songs and enjoying the ambience.
Looking deeper, we see that Ezra was sent because he understood God's instructions. Ezra was prequalified to teach God's instructions at Jerusalem because Ezra himself read, studiend and practiced God's laws first.
Ezra-Nehemiah, the 2nd last book in The Writings, gives readers hope and encouragement. Here, in Ezra 7:23, king Artaxerxes admits that The LORD's will should be done "in full for the house of the God of heaven". Reflection: how well can God's will be done through you?
Artaxerxes even prohibited any fiscal interference (tribute/tax) in the activities of the temple staff (7:24). Reflection: Are our resources designated for kingdom use leaked elsewhere through big holes?
It is a big encouragement to see the confluence of the pagan king's political will, God's will and human obedience. We see God's mighty hands in this confluence of His will, because it was mightily important that this happens. You are invited on this journey too.