“And the God that hath caused His name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed” (Ezra 6:12).
In the middle of the captivity of Israel, Ezra was motivated to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. He had the permission of leadership, and even the funding for the project. Opposition came as they started the work, as so often is the case when we are attempting to do something for God. It is important for you to understand today that if you are going to serve God, there will be people lined up to oppose what you are doing. Don’t be surprised by this, or allow this opposition to stop you. Keep serving God faithfully, this opposition is just a normal part of the process of standing for God. Ezra was determined to continue the work, but the opposition slowed them down. An appeal was made to King Darius. Ezra 6:12 is his quote at the end of a speech he made in support of the rebuilding of the temple.
When I read these verses this morning, I thought about the other significant time we see King Darius in the Bible. In one of the most familiar stories in our Old Testament, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions to be destroyed for praying to God rather than praying to the king. Darius was the king at that time and had been tricked into signing the law that Daniel violated. He had to follow his own command, and he had Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. After throwing Daniel in the den, King Darius asked this question: “… Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee” (Daniel 6:20)? Darius did not have faith, but God was still God and spared the life of Daniel.
When Darius returned the next morning, after a sleepless night, he found Daniel alive and well. He then made this statement: “… In every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end” (Daniel 6:26). The thought that hit my heart today was how God used the faithfulness of Daniel to help Ezra and the other Israelites in rebuilding the temple. What difference will your faithfulness or unfaithfulness today make on future generations? Your life is valuable. Your testimony will affect the future for someone. Use this day wisely to stand for God like Daniel did.
“Go as far as you can on the right road.” – Bob Jones Sr.