The heart of the king!
Scripture reading for May 4th: Ezra 1-3
The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.” Proverbs 21:1
Are you worried when the politician of the wrong party gets into office! Are you concerned when a leader may not make decisions you agree with or like. Today’s reading reminds us that God is in control of even pagan kings and He can turn their hearts to do His work. We are to pray for our leaders and trust the Lord to turn their hearts to do His will!
Cyrus, King of Persia was named by the prophet Isaiah as the one God would choose to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 44:26-28) This prophetic word occurred over 15o years before in 688 B.C. when Babylon was the ruling world power. God truly knows the end from the beginning! Cyrus began to fulfil this prophesy by making the decree in 538 B.C. to rebuild the temple. (Ezra 1:2-4) He released Jews who wanted to go and to give to do so. He also sent back the articles from the temple which had been taken by King Nebuchadnezzar some 70 years earlier. (Ezra 1:9-10) Some 5400 utensils made of gold and silver were released to go back to Jerusalem! What a miracle!
Ezra lists the numbers of people who returned as well. Priest, Levites, singers, gatekeepers and temple servants were all accounted for. The whole company was 42,360 Israelites, not counting servants. (Ezra 2:64-67)
As we look at what transpired after the decreed 70 years of captivity (Jeremiah 29:10), we are amazed at how accurately God predicted what would happen and how and when it would come about! God is able to turn the hearts of those in leadership. It doesn’t matter if they are believers or not. It doesn’t matter what their background or nationality. God knows each person and uses them for His purposes.
Take time today and pray for our nation and it’s leadership. We are far from where God wants us to be and our leaders are doing things that are contrary to God’s word and will. Remember how God uses leaders and nations. When His people pray, He hears and acts. “The heart of the king (president, judge, senator, congressman) is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse where ever He pleases.” Proverbs 21:1