Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up. ~2 Chronicles 36:23
There are many external proofs that validate that the Bible is the Word of God. One of the compelling proofs is history. The sovereign hand of God is woven throughout the history of man. Someone has aptly said, “History is HIS STORY.” Cyrus, king of Persia, was prophesied of by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah a little more than 100 years before his birth and 160 years before he conquered Babylon. At a time when the leadership among God’s captive people was lacking, God used this Persian king to challenge His people to return and rebuild the house of God. We see a fourfold challenge in Cyrus’ proclamation.
We see the challenge of identity.
“Who is there among you of all his people?” God’s people are those who identify with Him by faith. Faith is our belief and acceptance that God is our Saviour, Lord, and God. God called His people under Moses a kingdom of priests. The people of God are identified by faith, belief, worship, and practices. The name Christian identifies us as those who have made a profession of faith in Christ and are committed disciples. Do men know that you are a Christian? Do men know that you are a faithful member of your local church?
We see the challenge of inspiration.
“The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up." The challenge was to go up and build the house of the Lord. It was a challenge for these Jews to leave the businesses and settlements that they had been accustomed to while under Babylonian and Persian rule. The natural impulse of all of us is to be comfortable. The Lord gave an inspiring challenge to go back and do something that would not be forgotten and that would be a legacy to hand down. We must be inspired by the Lord’s presence: "The LORD his God be with him." We must be inspired by the Lord’s priority: "and let him go up." Are you inspired by the call to do something great for God?
We see the challenge of involvement.
I find today that one of the biggest enemies we deal with is the problem of complacency and indifference. We don’t like to be moved out of our comfort zone. However, God will send us needed challenges to move us out of indifference and into involvement. Sometimes, God disturbs us to be involved in service. Sometimes, God disturbs us to be involved in soulwinning. Sometimes, God disturbs us to be involved through stewardship and wants us to participate in special gifts and offerings. When we are involved, we are demonstrating commitment. When we are involved, we are demonstrating that we care.
We see the challenge of integration.
Integration is getting all the parts connected until what is being worked on is achieved or completed. Cyrus issued a challenge that had an end goal: the construction of a new temple. He planted the seed thought and gave the broad vision. However, the people of God had to see that what was expected of them was to commit the time, resources, and involvement. The people had to have a mind to work. The people had to follow the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua. The people had to be steadfast amid criticism and opposition. When it comes to integration, never be the piece that holds up the accomplishment. Let us accept the challenge of getting out of our comfort zone and be productive for God.
Have an energized God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 11-12