Chapter-a-Day Ezra 1

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—this fulfilled the Message of God preached by Jeremiah—God prodded Cyrus king of Persia to make an official announcement throughout his kingdomEzra 1:1-3 (MSG)

As I write this post, the newspaper headlines and 30 second sound-bytes are all depressing. The economy refuses to recover. The government can’t get anything done. Europe is sinking under the weight of debt. The U.S. is not far behind. Young people can’t find jobs even as companies report a shortage of qualified, experienced workers. I just heard about another round of lay-offs locally. It is said that the standard of living of the average American has now fallen to what it was in the 1970s.

I grew up in the 70s. Watergate, Vietnam, Carter, oil embargo, 55 mph national speed limit, hostages, disco and leisure suits.

[sigh]

Amidst all of this depressing news, One is apt to wonder where God is in all of this. I imagine those in exile in Babylon felt much the same way. Torn from their homes, enslaved, and hauled off to live in a foreign land to work for a foreign tyrant. “God, where are you? What are you doing?”

Then I read that God, as prophesied by Jeremiah, moved Cyrus the King of Persia to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem and send people and materials for the task. A small gesture, maybe, but one that gave life and hope to a depressed and hopeless people.

Today, my heart is lightened by the reminder that God is not idle. Times and events, kings and kingdoms, leaders and movements, are still in His hand. This journey is continuing toward a destination of His grand design. He bids me not to be anxious about tomorrow, but to be content and faithful in this one day that I’m given.

He’ll take care of the rest.

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