Don’t Mess With What God Has In Mind
Ezra 6:11 Furthermore I decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of the house of the perpetrator, who then shall be impaled on it. The house shall be made a dunghill. 12 May the God who has established his name there overthrow any king or people that shall put forth a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”
The plan was to rebuild God’s house. The edict was coming from Darius and it was a reaffirmation of what had been decreed by Cyrus. While there were political powers who had become stumbling blocks in the process of rebuilding, the overruling hand of God still prevailed. Darius was now enacting a plan which would ensure the completion of the work.
This edict was not to be changed or altered in any way, shape, or form. However, there were folks who would have liked to have made adjustments. The Samaritans were fanatical and when that’s the case, there is always an objection to be made. At the same time Darius’ people would not have found this to be a very favorable edict either, for they were an idolatrous people who would not have supported the idea of a house of worship for people who claimed to be monotheistic.
The punishment for those who messed with the plan was severe. What God had in mind was to be completed and there were to be no obstacles. Woe to those who would try and stand in the way of the house of God. The punishment would be the destruction of their own home — the central pillar removed which would lead to its collapse. The site would never again be used for a home, but rather a place of excrement, reeking and vile.
When Jesus came he ushered in the kingdom of God. We are to be citizens of that kingdom, living into what God desires. And yet I believe that we can discover those along the way who would like to change the edict. Each has their own personal motivation and most would have convinced themselves that they were doing the right thing. Some are fanatical and insist on adding to God’s decrees regarding the kingdom. Jesus laid out the kingdom in his Sermon on the Mount, but for some that’s just not radical enough! Therefore, sometimes without realizing, they add to the edict and create boundaries to the kingdom which God did not erect. They begin to mess with what God had in mind and the results can be devastating.
The realization was that the enemy to the reconstruction of God’s house in Jerusalem was not necessarily an army from another kingdom swooping in to destroy the building. The most destructive force was that which might subtly try to mess with what God had in mind. The consequences of that action would be dire for the people of God and so the punishment was quite severe. The most destructive forces to Christianity today are not those from outside, but the subtle actions of those from within who try to make God’s plan “even better.”
The people were told to stick to the edict. We need to stick to the word of God and not mess with what God has in mind.
Lord, please help me live into your leading and instruction. Amen.
If you would like to read more "Reflecting the Image" click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.