Turning the Heart of the King

God can cause our staunchest enemies to flip and suddenly assist us. They may not even be aware of why they are doing it, but they do it anyway. Take the example of the story of the rebuilding of the temple.

The book of Ezra chapters 1 – 6 tells us that God stirred the heart of King Cyrus of Persia to decree that the descendents of the Jews who had formerly been removed from Jerusalem be allowed to return and rebuild the temple. King Cyrus would even pay for the construction project out of his people’s taxes. As the years went by, Darius then became king, and a “delegation from beyond the river” came upon the construction site and decided to challenge the workers as to their right to build. When the elders over the job answered that they had been given permission by the former king, the delegation sent a letter to King Darius asking for proof. King Darius had the matter researched and indeed found King Cyrus’s original proclamation. King Darius then reaffirmed that decree and those who had questioned the Jews “diligently did according to what King Darius had sent” (6:13). Once everything was cleared up, we’re told:

  • So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. Ezra 6:14 (NKJ)
  •  Then the children of Israel who had returned from the captivity… kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the LORD made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. Ezra 6:21-22 (NKJ)

Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes were heathen kings, but God turned their hearts to show favor to His people. Even today, no king, ruler, president, or dictator can resist when God decides to turn their hearts. Fear no man. Our only requirement is to be sure our hearts are turned toward God; He can handle the hearts of those who oppose us. Proverbs 16:7 says it best: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (NKJ).

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©2011 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.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

 

~ by sanewriter on July 29, 2011.

One Response to “Turning the Heart of the King”

  1. I love this! A friend of mine recently told me something very similar and although I have been practicing living it, it can be a challenge at times. We seem to have the tendency to want to turn around and fix it, say the right thing – do the right thing so that everything is suddenly better. But God wants us just to let it go, giving it to Him, and put our eyes and heart firmly on Him and what He is doing. Then He takes care of what is a “mess” behind us.

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