I am sure the people of Judah did not see how they would get out of the Babylonian captivity. They certainly had not gained enough power on their own to break free and return to Jerusalem. They would remember the word of the LORD by Jeremiah that they would return, but they likely could not know how.
God makes a way when none seems to exist. He stirred the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia. The people were not only allowed and encouraged to go, but also supported financially. Then the LORD stirred up also the people whom He wanted to return to Jerusalem.
What are you facing today that may feel hopeless? What situations face you that you cannot see clearly a path forward to success or resolution? Call upon the LORD and trust in Him. Whether or not He delivers exactly what You are asking for, trust in Him! Know that He is able, and He may do it in a way that you don’t anticipate.
1Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:
2“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3‘Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4‘Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.’”
Holy Vessels Restored
5Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 6All those about them encouraged them with articles of silver, with gold, with goods, with cattle and with valuables, aside from all that was given as a freewill offering. 7Also King Cyrus brought out the articles of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and put in the house of his gods; 8and Cyrus, king of Persia, had them brought out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and he counted them out to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. 9Now this was their number: 30 gold dishes, 1,000 silver dishes, 29 duplicates; 1030 gold bowls, 410 silver bowls of a second kind and 1,000 other articles. 11All the articles of gold and silver numbered 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought them all up with the exiles who went up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
All of us face situations that are beyond our control. It may be seeking the right path for us or our children that God has for us. It could be challenges at work or school, illness, physical or other limitations, or even finding meaningful fellowship with others who strive to live as Jesus demonstrated. Sometimes it may seem there is no way to control or plan with our own power to get to the outcome we want. I encourage you to turn to the LORD and diligently pray for Him to meet our needs and bless us in these situations in which we find ourselves striving but unclear on how to overcome.
I invite you to pray with me:
Father, please help Your people trust in You. Help us to bring our burdens to You and ask diligently for Your help. Help us to trust You in the outcome. You may often answer in unexpected ways, but Your ways are higher than ours. Help us to find peace in You. Amen.
Devotion by John in service to Christ
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