In the opening verses of Ezra chapter five we are reminded of the means by which God governs all things.
First, His Word Commands us. Ultimately, neither the kings of this world, nor any other ruler is our master. Only the God of Israel is “over us” and, from beginning to end, we are under His sway.
Secondly, His Word energises us. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah prophesied and the workers got up to work. That is what the word of God does. God speaks and men are moved and enabled to serve His good purposes.
Thirdly, His Word ensures triumph. They have only just gone back to work and immediately the Israelites are tempted again to withdraw. But God’s word does not fail. When sent out to strengthen the hands that hang down – it does!
In all of the events that come into our lives, God remains provident. He doesn’t rule the world through spells and magic but through men. His providence ensures some things do happen and His providence ensures some things don’t. It ensures the Temple is build and the enemy is defeated.
Furthermore, His providence is not cold and unfeeling. It is rich and extravagant. It is true that our own walk sometimes feels dry and dull. Life seems to sink deeper into depression for many and hopelessness for quite a few. But it is equally true, that, in the end, He will send Darius who will come and foot the bill. There is a King who will give us all things we need in order to sustain us for the work of Kingdom building.
What then is the purpose of God’s providence toward His creation? Having built the Temple, having been blessed and strengthened with God’s supply, the purpose in all His works toward us is Joy! Ezra makes it plain (6:22), God makes people happy! And what was the word that produced the joy for this weary people?
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.” (Zechariah 9:9-10)
Lessons For little Saints…
- What three things does God’s word do?
- What does “providence” mean?
- Who was the other King who came and paid everybody else’s bill?
- What does God want for us as He plans the events of our lives?