Archive for August 27th, 2007

Ezra 7

Artaxerxes, king of the land, sends Ezra on his way to get the temple finished.   The second half of chapter seven gives us a very different set of circumstances from earlier when the rebuilding of the temple was kaboshed.  The king tells Ezra to get on with his trip to Jerusalem and gives him this direction:

  1. Anyone wanting to go along may go
  2. Take back the silver and gold the king is giving toward the project
  3. Do the offerings and activities in keeping with the will of God
  4. Pay for anything you need out of the royal bank
  5. Ask any of the treasurers along the way for whatever you need
  6. There is to be no hesitation on the part of anyone to do what you say
  7. There can be no tax imposed on what you do

Does this seem like a big about face to you?  It sure does to me.  The king also tells Ezra to “exercise the wisdom of God that you have in your hands”.  People could see that Ezra was filled with God’s wisdom.  The big change of heart happens because Ezra’s life and prayers changed things.  He was walking with God and God took care of all the details.  I love the way Andy Stanley has said this: “what God originates, God orchestrates”.  If God is in the center of the plan the details are His.  We often stop moving because we can’t see how the details will work out.  But if God is in control, that is His to deal with.  We just need to keep moving where He leads.  The king goes on to also say that anyone who does not obey may be imprisioned, fined, banished or killed by Ezra.  Talk about handing over the keys to the kingdom here.  Ezra has been handed power on a platter. 

 

But the real key is what Ezra says to end the chapter.  He tells us the result of his prayer and it is powerful.  He says that God:

  1. Put it in the mind of the king
  2. Caused the king to “actually like me and back me”
  3. My God was on my side and I was ready to go

I love how he ends his analysis of what is happening.  God is on my side and I am ready to go.  Does that describe you?  God is on your side.  Are you ready to go?  Are you already going?  I believe He wants us to be moving.  He wants us to be taking action.  He wants us to be on the path of serving Him.  God wants to us use just like He did Ezra, and Nehemiah too.  Leaders who are willing to pray and then take action in the power of God, leaving the details to Him.  Let’s become that kind of man!

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