Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 25, Year 1
“With joy they celebrated the festival of unleavened bread for seven days; for the Lord had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.” (Ezra 6:22)
God often intervenes in the thinking of people around true believers. It has happened long ago, and it happens today. God influenced king Darius to assist the Israelites in the rebuilding of their place of worship. Darius spared no resource in assisting the displaced people of God. He decreed, “Moreover, I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God: the cost is to be paid to these people, in full and without delay, from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province Beyond the River. (Ezra 6:8).
The heart of king Darius was so moved to help the Israelites that he also put words in his edict that warned those who might resist their work. He wrote, “Furthermore, I decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of the house of the perpetrator, who then shall be impaled on it. The house shall be made a dunghill: (Ezra 6 11). There is something about the Marine in me that admires the determination of king Darius to see God’s work done without interference.
All said and done, God still works through the hearts of the people around we believers in order to help us. All we have to do is keep believing, keep loving, and remain determined in building God’s spiritual house, that spiritual house not made with human hands, eternal in the heavens.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John