“And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold…”       Ezra 1:4
    If this had been merely a suggestion from the king, things probably wouldn’t have worked out for the Jews who were returning to their homeland to rebuild the temple, since people were in general poor, and it would have been rather difficult to squeeze out any extra resources and turn them over to a bunch of foreigners for whom they most likely had very little concern.
    It would have been some kind of tax for the people had this been an order, and it would undoubtedly have caused bitterness among the natives. Had it been for a good cause, people might have been willing to help, yet they knew nothing about the Lord and couldn’t care less about building a temple for a foreign deity. Therefore the plan formulated by the king was doomed to fail, looking at it from a human point of view.
    This must have been part of God’s eternal plan actually. How could he expect his people to launch a project on such a grand scale without providing for them the necessary resources to finish it?
    Where there is will there is a way, so people say. This is merely a glorification of human creativity and ingenuity, for we know the human will may fall short and oftentimes our efforts may not be sufficient to achieve what we desire to accomplish. Yet one thing we do know, however: God’s will can never be thwarted by any force and things should always be considered done if the sovereign God wills it.
    I would have gone without food or shelter as a youngster but for a kind-hearted landlady who not only didn’t charge me any rent for an entire year, but even occasionally prepared a lunch box for me as well. There isn’t any plausible explanation for her action except the Lord pitied my miserable estate and moved someone to help me. Human kindness will always fall short concerning this kind of thing unless the Lord unceasingly moves someone to help. Compassion for people in need may remain merely a feeling and only the Lord can turn the feeling of pity into solid action.
    I found myself dragging my feet when it was time for me to go to Western Union to wire some money overseas to help some needy Christian brothers. In fact, it would have been a lot easier for us to do nothing for the poor and the needy at all.
    I guess the people in the kingdom might have been rather reluctant to give toward the project of rebuilding the temple, yet they had no choice but to move after their hearts were moved by the Almighty.  


Posted by Robert Sea Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:40:00 AM Categories: Devotional

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