Today’s Reading – Ezra 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Read the “0527 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
(Ezra 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, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, (2) Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. (3) Who is there among you of all his people? 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 the God,) which is in Jerusalem. (4) And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem. (5) Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. (6) And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered. (7) Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; (8) Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. (9) And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, (10) Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand. (11) All the vessels of gold and of silver were fivethousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.”
Good morning. It was the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia. And he was taking care of business. He had taken over all the kingdoms of the world, and gives all the glory to the LORD God (verse 2). There are four aspects king Cyrus’ relationship with God.
1) King Cyrus recognized who the LORD God was.
In verse 3, he says, “…He is THE God…”
He recognized the LORD God of Israel as THE God.
(Isaiah 43:10-11) “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. (11) I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”
2) King Cyrus obeyed the LORD when He gave him the task of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.
In verse 2, he says, “The LORD God of heaven… …hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem…”
(Romans 6:16) “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
King Cyrus knew whose servant he was. He belonged to THE God. God not only called him to the task, but also…
3) God supplied the means to accomplish the task.
Verse 5 tells us that, “Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD…”
He does this just like He did with Moses and the Tabernacle…
(Exodus 31:1-11) “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, (4) To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, (5) And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. (6) And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; (7) The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, (8) And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, (9) And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, (10) And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, (11) And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.”
The fourth item in king Cyrus’ relationship with God is that…
4) He gave back to the LORD.
Verses 7 and 11 tell us, “Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem… All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.”
Look at what happened to Zacchaeus when he was visited by God…
(Luke 19:8-9) “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”
Just to give you an idea, let’s say that it was an even split from king Cyrus: 2700 vessels of gold, and 2700 vessels of silver. And let’s say that each vessel weighed in at 8 ounces. That would be 21600 ounces of gold and 21600 ounces of silver. At today’s prices that would be $1976 for an ounce of Gold, and $26 for an ounce of silver. If king Cyrus did that today, he would have given back to the Lord almost $43.5 million.
How is your relationship with the LORD? Can He, or has He trusted you with a task to complete? Do you trust Him to supply you with what you need? Could you loosen your grip on $43.5 million, or even your 10% tithe? Just something to think about. But all in all, you can see that king Cyrus was obedient to God, THE God, THE One and Only GOD. He was faithful to God and helped God’s people. King Cyrus was a good steward of what God had given him.
(1Corinthians 4:2) “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
Are you faithful in what God has given you to do?
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 1 comment.