Friday, January 17, 2014

God Always Has a Plan


Ezra 1:1-4
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, 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.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. 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.

Have you ever been in the midst of turmoil? In a situation that you cannot see your way out of regardless of how much "thinking" you try to do?

The children of Israel, because of years of sin and unfaithfulness to God, had been attacked, pillaged, plundered, and exiled from the land that God had given them.

They were miserable, ruled by tyranny, and waiting for some relief for their situation. But it did not seem that any would come.

Meanwhile......


In Persia, there was a bad king who was in power over the Persians, a nomadic group of shepherds. One night he had a dream that his baby grandson would grow up to overthrow him and take his power from him.

The king, Astyges, ordered his servant, Harpagus, to take the baby to the mountains and have him killed. Harpagus did as he was told and took the baby to the mountains but could not follow through with the rest of the request. He saw a shepherd and ordered him to kill the child under threat of punishment. The shepherd took the baby and left Harpagus' sight. He brought the baby to his barren wife and credited the gods of the Persians for giving them this child. He then took a goat, killed it, and covered his hands with the blood. He returned to Harpagus and told him the deed had been done.

The shepherd and his wife raised the child as their own. The child grew and was stronger and taller than the other children in their band.

One day the grown boy and his father went into the marketplace to sell their sheep. The king, Astyges, saw the young man and recognized him as being the grandson had ordered killed. Astyges went to Harpagus and confronted him. He tried to have Harpagus and his family killed, but Harpagus managed to escape. He fled to the mountain and found the young shepherd, who had been named Cyrus by his adoptive parents, and explained who he really was and offered his services if Cyrus wanted to overthrow his grandfather, which he did.

Cyrus was known as a good, fair, and honest king. He became the ruler of much of the known ancient world. And he not only allowed the Israelites to return to their land, but he made sure they had the supplies necessary to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem.

I don't know what you are going through right now, what kind of exile you are in, or what prayer request you have that is taking a long time to answer.

God's plan is the works.

Moses was floating down the river in a basket while the children of Israel were waiting to be freed from slavery.

Cyrus had to grow up before he could be the answer to the prayers of God's people.

Your answer is in the works.

It will come.

God always has a plan.

And His plan always has perfect timing.

Managing Your Blessings

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