We live in the information age. Thanks to the Internet and devices like our desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets, we can access a wealth of information just by typing in a few words. Whenever we want to know something—anything—all that’s needed is for us to “do a search.”
Things were not quite that easy back in Old Testament times, but records were kept, and information could be sought out. One such incident happened in the book of Ezra when the builders of the temple were challenged. Tattenai, the governor of the region containing Jerusalem, noticed that the Jews were rebuilding the temple and asked them who had given them permission to do so. When the builders told him they had permission from the powers that be, he wanted to check out their story, so he sent a letter to King Darius asking about the matter.
Ezra 6:1-2 tells us, “Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search was made in the archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found, and in it a record was written” (NKJ). Sure enough, the former ruler, King Cyrus, had issued the decree that the house of God be built at Jerusalem. King Darius didn’t just stop at telling Tattenai that fact; he added his own decree and a request:
- Let the cost be paid at the king’s expense from taxes on the region beyond the River; this is to be given immediately to these men, so that they are not hindered. And whatever they need—young bulls, rams, and lambs for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the request of the priests who are in Jerusalem—let it be given them day by day without fail, that they may offer sacrifices of sweet aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his sons. Ezra 6:8-10
This story teaches us some lessons about working for God.
- Work candidly. Be involved openly in doing the work God has called us to do. Unless God has placed us in a ministry that involves undercover operations, we should not be ashamed of what God has called us to do. Anyone can see it and even challenge it if they’d like.
- Work consistently. We should not stop working for God just because we are challenged. When Tattenai confronted the workers, they answered him but kept right on working. “But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not make them cease till a report could go to Darius” Ezra 5:5.
- Work confidently. When our work is firmly based upon the Word of the Lord, we can be confident in knowing God will back us up and supply abundantly for the work to be accomplished.
If we are involved in work we clearly know God has told us to do, we can expect to be challenged. We need to keep working, but hand the confronters a Bible and tell them simply, “Do a search.” All God-inspired work will be backed up somewhere in the pages of Holy Writ where the treasures of truth are stored. And we shouldn’t be surprised if those same challengers end up helping in the completion of the work. Worship God today for being the validation of our work.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,
Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
Also still available:
Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)