The Lord prompts the king of Persia to rebuild the temple.
The Bible says that God “removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21) and that “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:1). We see a classic example of these truths in the book of Ezra. The Israelites are taken captive by the Babylonians for 70 years. During that time, the Babylonians are conquered by Persia. Then the Lord moves in the heart of the king of Persia to orchestrate the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. God is in control. Bad things will still happen; we live in a fallen world. But God is in control and history is moving toward His end. The ultimate needs of His children are met, and we have the promise of eternal life. Beyond that, we must cling to the fact that we are pilgrims, sojourners to another world—heaven, where our true citizenship lies.
As you continue your time with the Lord, offer to Him this praise:
Praise the Lord!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?
Who can declare all His praise?
Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!
Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.
Now pray this affirmation to God:
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, pray for:
-- Health and strength to serve Him
-- His will to be done
-- Whatever else is on your heart
Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen (Jude 24-25).