Ezra 7: God Is Active
Ezra 7 is another chapter that really surprises me. Again, the Persian kings were not necessarily believers in God. They believed that God existed undoubtedly, but it seems as if they were pretty open to the idea that a wide variety of gods existed, and the God of Israel was just another version.
All of that being said, it seems as if they realized there was something different about the God of Israel. For some reason, they were willing to always give the people of Israel a pretty good deal. We have seen that the past few days, and we see that today as Ezra the priest was sent to Jerusalem.
Ezr 7:23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, didn’t want to get on the wrong side of God. This is how we can conclude that they believed He existed. Why would you be afraid of something that you believe is not there?
Because of this mindset, the king gave Ezra permission to basically take whatever he needed to build the Temple. If he needed money, all he needed to do was ask for it. That is an amazingly generous offer that I am sure Ezra was not expecting.
Of course, Ezra knew who to attribute all of this privilege to when it all did come to be though.
Ezr 7:27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:
He knew that God was and still is behind the universe. He’s still involved and watching over us every day. Ezra knew that he was doing what God wanted by being involved in the rebuilding of the Temple, and God was right there to help and support him.
We still have God beside us today. He still has a plan, and He still uses people to help accomplish that plan. He supplies the power, but we are the instruments that He uses many times. We need to be like Ezra and make sure that we give all the glory back to God.