06 September 2010

The Stirring of A Heart

Ezra 1:1-6 (New Living Translation)

1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the LORD fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:

2 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says:
“The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you! 4 Wherever this Jewish remnant is found, let their neighbors contribute toward their expenses by giving them silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock, as well as a voluntary offering for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.”

5 Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the LORD. 6 And all their neighbors assisted by giving them articles of silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock. They gave them many valuable gifts in addition to all the voluntary offerings.

God stirs the hearts of people He wants to use, so when we feel God stir our hearts, we should pay attention and do as He leads us to do. Do you agree? In the Old Testament book of Ezra, God stirred the heart of King Cyrus, whom He placed as king of “all the kingdoms of the earth.” The Lord stirred Cyrus’ heart to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem in Judah. King Cyrus obeyed God and issued a decree that allowed the Israelite captives in Babylon to return to help build the Temple. He gave them his blessing to do so. “May your God be with you.” In addition, Cyrus, King of Persia, decreed (ordered) the people of the kingdom to contribute generously to the Israelites who were returning to Jerusalem in Judah. The people were to give them articles of gold and silver, livestock, and a free will offering of money for the Temple of the Lord. The Lord also stirred the hearts of the Priests and all the Temple workers to go back to help with the rebuilding. The Lord also stirred King Cyrus to return all the gold and silver articles King Nebuchadnezzar confiscated from the [original] Temple of the Lord many years’ prior, sacred items he then placed into the temples of his pagan gods.

Mighty things come from the response to the stirring the Lord puts upon a heart. Consider what an historical event was birthed at the stirring of King Cyrus’ heart. The Temple of the Lord was rebuilt. What is the Lord stirring your heart to do today? How are you responding? Is He calling you to come to Him today? Will your response echo the psalmist who said, “My heart has heard you say, “Come, and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord I am coming.” Psalm 27:8 (nlt)

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