Ezra 3-10

It’s comforting to read of the exiles in Persia being guided by God’s providence to be able to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and the temple. In the midst of opposition, under the rule of a pagan king, not only are they permitted to complete the project but it is fully funded for them. When the Lord has promised something, he will bring it about and no one can stay his hand. As Christ builds his church on the earth, this is a great comfort because there is opposition on all sides, from spiritual oppression, to government intervention, to local antagonism, to lack of funding, and to internal disputes or disobedience among the people of God themselves. Knowing that the sovereign Lord works to bring about his purposes through and in spite of these circumstances gives us cause to rejoice. We are the temple of the living God, being built by the Holy Spirit with Christ as the cornerstone. We do not rely on the edict of earthly kings but are under a King who has all authority in heaven and earth and neither Cyrus, nor Artaxerxes, nor Darius, no Caesar, nor the emperor, nor the Prime Minister, nor the Congress, nor the President can overrule his decree. Despite any attempts to the contrary, they will carry forward his plan and will. History ebbs and flows, with kingdoms and lords, ideologies and philosophies, armies and great powers rising and falling by the hand of enemies without and strife within. Yet through it all there is one Lord of history whose kingdom continues, without armies, without warfare, but with a powerful word and the love Christ, and it will one day contain people from every tribe, tongue, and nation on the earth.

The Lord said to his Son, “Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance.” One day we will hear the angelic voices announcing that, “the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.”

Come, Lord Jesus.