Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 6

Ezra 3:1-4:24; 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4; Psalm 29:1-11; Proverbs 20:26-27

Being disqualified when you have done nothing wrong.
A misunderstanding with the boss leads to being let go.
Building codes preclude adding a new building to your church until more parking is added.

Things in ministry or life or your job seem to be going well, and then screech….. the sound of brakes is heard. And the work comes to a complete stop.

That happened today in our reading of Ezra. King Cyrus of Persia sent back to Jerusalem any Jews who wanted to return with the goal of rebuilding the temple. Despite their fear of the people around them, they persevered with their building project (Ez. 3:3) and things were moving along well until they encountered sly enemies, Bishlam and his associates (4:7).  These enemies wrote a letter to the new king of Persia, Xerxes, and lodged a complaint against the Jewish temple builders. Xerxes believed their accusations and for twenty years the work on the temple was halted (Ancient History Encyclopedia online) until King Darius came to power (vs. 24).

Twenty years. That’s a long time. That’s how long it takes a baby to become an adult. The temple could have been rebuilt and then some. Solomon’s temple took only seven years to build.

God’s people, who have done nothing wrong and, in fact, are trying to do something very good, something God wants done, are at a standstill. They must wait for God to open the next door.

Remember the wait in yesterday’s reading and Sarah’s comment on it? David writes in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” In Psalm 28:4, David says, “Repay them [the wicked] for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back upon them what they deserve.”

Keep reading in Ezra. God will act in His time. He will repay the wicked.

And He will act in your life and mine. If He calls us to a task that has been derailed through no fault of our own, then He is in the waiting and at the proper time He will put the task back on track. The unfair disqualification may lead you to seek a different direction in life. Being let go from a job gives you the time to consider a new career that will be better in the long run. Building codes that require more parking can get changed, or the church will discover they really needed the extra parking.

God is not absent in the delays, though we fret over them.

Wait for the Lord. He is in the waiting.

- Nell Sunukjian

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