Friday after the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ezra 1:1-11 (NKJV)
1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.
7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; 8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives, 10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles. 11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.
“Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:5).
“All whose spirits God had moved.” Most didn’t go back from Babylon to Jerusalem. From that day to this, there has never been a moment in history that the majority of Jews lived in the Promised Land. God moved some to return. He moved others to support them financially. But God’s purposes were accomplished, and among those who returned were the ancestors of a certain “Joseph” and “Mary.”
So also in our day and age: God uses one to be a missionary, another to be a Pastor, others to provide financial support for the kingdom, another to be a faithful mother raising children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The devil will attempt to get us to take such pride in our contributions that we disparage what others do. Resist that. Rather, rejoice that the same Holy Spirit leads one to do one thing, and another to do another, and by means of all this, the kingdom of God is advanced as people are brought to the faith in the Son of Mary, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
We pray: “Heavenly Father, I give You thanks for all that You have use of others to do in service to Your Kingdom. Have Your use of me also, I pray, for the sake of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.”