Ezra 1:1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared: 2 “Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of those among you who are of his people—may their God be with them!—are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem; 4 and let all survivors, in whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.” 5 The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred—got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered. 7 King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods.
After 70 years in exile God opened the door for the remaining Israelites to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple (the house of God at Jerusalem mentioned in v.2). Great. With what?
The temple in Jerusalem was a massive structure. Rebuilding it would require huge amounts of resources of every kind. Where would God’s people, who had been servants in Persia (formerly known as Babylon) for 70 years, get what was needed? Answer: From Cyrus, King of Persia himself. How crazy is that? The kingdom which destroyed Jerusalem was the kingdom which provided the material to rebuild. Not what I would have guessed. But this is how God works. I’ve seen it over and over again.
The Lord will call people to do things that seem nearly impossible and then provide the means to get it done.
I’m seeing it happen in a less dramatic way in the congregation I lead in suburban Dallas. Out of nowhere our people have jumped into partnering with other churches to serve people living in poverty and homelessness in the nearby city of Irving. Last night our people fixed food for 100 and served it along with clothing and other items. What’s so remarkable about this is how quickly this ministry has come to life. It’s so clearly the work of God.
Lord Jesus, send your people to a hurting world. Give us grace to trust that you will provide for that which you call us to do. Amen.