Monday 10-3-2016 Martinez, Argentina
Today we read: Ezra 5 - 6 Psalm 138 Luke 16
S. Ezra 5:9-14 We asked the leaders, 'Who gave you permission to rebuild this Temple and restore this structure?' And we demanded their names so that we could tell you who the leaders were. "This was their answer: 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the Temple that was built here many years ago by a great king of Israel. But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he abandoned them to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who destroyed this Temple and exiled the people to Babylonia. However, King Cyrus of Babylon, during the first year of his reign, issued a decree that the Temple of God should be rebuilt. NLT
O. Obviously there was no email back then. It took weeks of travel to carry messages even via the “Camel Express.” The Jews that had returned from their captivity in Babylon were rebuilding the temple with great joy. But, Governor Tattenai, (let’s call him Governor Tattle-tale) the governor of the adjoining province heard about it and sent his police to check this out. “Who do you think you are? How dare you start building this temple? Who gave you permission?” I love their answer: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth…”
These boys knew who they were. They were no longer slaves of the king of Babylon, but servants of God. They also knew they had permission from the former King Cyrus. So Governor Tattletale sends a letter to the new King Darius to check them out and hopefully stop the temple from being built. But fortunately the former King Cyrus had kept good records and they found the official memorandum of permission and behold, Governor Tattletale ended up having to pay for the temple building materials from his local treasury.
A. What does this say to me? It says, “Ralph, don’t butt into other people’s business, much less disturb a work of God. You might end up having to pay the bill.” It also says to me, “I am not a slave to some governor. I am a servant of the God of heaven and earth… and I intend to follow His instructions first and foremost.”
P. Lord Jesus, here I am in Argentina. I don’t feel like an outsider. I feel like I belong here. I have official permission from the highest authority. Of course I try to comply with the local governing powers, too, but it is with great comfort that I know ‘who I am and why I am where I am.’ How blessed I am to be involved in “building Your temple”… enlarging the borders of Your kingdom as You conquer new territory in the hearts of men and women, boys and girls here! Thank You, Lord for this privilege! Amen.