Our God Reigns
Reigning Lord, I pray today that You can restore me and make me whole again each and every day.
Read Ezra 6:13-22
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“God’s power comes into action at the very place where our actions fail” (Evelyn Underhill, 1875-1941).
Today’s passage is a reminder that our God presides over all things. Whatever the posturing and machinations of humankind, our Heavenly Father is in control and will bring his purposes to pass. Here, it is clearly shown that the purposes of God are not thwarted by kings and rulers, but God sometimes chooses to work with them and through them (13,14). The “…command of the God of Israel…” is accomplished through the “….decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes” so that the rebuilding of the Temple was completed (16). It is comforting for us to know, as God’s children, that when life does not turn out as we had hoped, we are not caught in the grip of circumstances but secure in the loving arms of God.
When the temple rebuilding was complete, there was a joyous dedication (16). It showed the enormous relief and rejoicing that the repatriated Jews experienced as they returned from Babylon and saw their beloved place of worship restored. You can really get a sense of their exultation in the opening words of Psalm 126, “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion (Jerusalem), we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy” (1,2). The dedication of the temple is not described, but presumably followed the pattern of Solomon’s that we read this past week (2 Chron. 7).
It is fitting that, following the dedication of the temple, the first worship service is that of the Passover. This was at the very heart of the nation’s life and a reminder of the covenant mercies of God. Because we have been redeemed through our Lord Jesus Christ, we can build, and be built into, the new Temple of God, the dwelling place of Christ through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:13,20-22).
Do you know someone who has experienced a loss (loved one, marriage, home, job)? Seek opportunity to share the comfort and hope of this passage with them.
Father, I easily give in to despair when things don’t work out as I had hoped. Assure me that in and through all things, You are still in charge.