After 70 years of captivity the temple is built in Jerusalem. It’s not only blessed by God its blessed by government!
Ezra 6:3 – In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits
Funded, protected and encouraged by them to prosper.
Ezra 6:7-8 ~ Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.
As I read through Ezra 6 this morning I couldn’t help but think of the present affairs of our government and the state of the Church in America. I really don’t anticipate at any time in the near future we would hear our president say “Let’s build the church! Those of you who oppose it, back off… and church… whatever you need to get it done, just let me know.” But that was what was happening in Jerusalem. And what was the difference? God’s sovereignty.
Can it happen again? Yes: because we still serve the same God. Will it? I don’t know. But one thing about this passage that I gained great peace in this morning was the knowledge that God is and always will be the King of kings. Regardless of the enemies plot against us we are still very much in the control of Almighty God. Those in political power over us have no sovereign power over us. And if God so chooses He can use their intent for destruction of our nation to be used for our good. Revelation 12:16a says “And the earth helped the woman…” With that in mind, He can also use circumstance to get us into a position where we only have Him to look at.
I know that things look bleak in America, but I’m looking at America through the heart of a church. Israel had just came out of 70 years of captivity. They were no longer the nation of great wealth, not only had their place of worship been destroyed but their means to rebuild it taken away as well. And God said (or so in my mind I think He could have) “It was never yours to start with. It’s Mine. I allowed them to tear it down, and I’ll cause them to build it back.” And so the work was completed and Israel was a humbler nation because they knew they didn’t do it.
I see the church today being humbled because we’ve allowed our earthly kings and queens to take away our rights to worship. But they have no means to tear down the temple; for our temple is within us. They can discourage us which takes its toll on our productiveness for the cause of Christ, but where does that put us in the scope of the politics that we see playing out in front of us today?
Apostle Paul nailed it for success when he said in 2 Corinthians 4:8 – We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Why are we acting like a people with no hope? Yes I’m a cockeyed optimist. Yes I will always look for the silver lining in a storm cloud, and above all I believe that Jesus will take me through. Do I think there could be some hard times ahead for America? Yes. But I also know that we serve the same Almighty God of Israel and that He controls the kings. And every time they get that smug, I’m in control look; God laughs. And every time they take a swing at the children of God who are trying to turn America back to the foundational beliefs we were founded on, He takes note. Of them… and us. How will it end? For certain in defeat if we continue to do nothing. But where there is a remnant… there is hope.
Romans 11:5 speak of Israel when it says “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”
I am grateful to be grafted into the family of God. God notes the remant.