Oh, how God moved on the Kings of Persia … leading them to help the Jews as they returned to their homeland, to what we now call Israel.
For example, today’s verse is essentially a “blank check!” Read with me these words spoken by King Artaxerxes to Ezra … “And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house.” Ezra 7:20
Yes … “Whatsoever!”
Here’s the “supplying of all the needs” of Judah, according to the riches of the King of Persia!
Out of the King’s very “treasure house!”
Yet, and this must be remembered, the people of Judah had been good, obedient (subservient) citizens of Persia for all those decades now.
In obedience to Jeremiah’s counsel, a sermon that could have been titled “How to act in Babylon!” Here’s the “heart” of what he said: “Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And SEEK THE PEACE OF THE CITY whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and PRAY UNTO THE LORD FOR IT: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” Jeremiah 29:5-7
The Jews obeyed … gave sincere allegiance to the land of their captivity … and that King eventually opened his “treasure houses” unto them, helping them financially! Again our Text for today … “And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house.”
I see in this event a “parable” picturing a certain aspect of the Christian life.
God … in asking His people to be good citizens of His Kingdom, to support (financially) His Causes: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Malachi 3:10
And if we indeed “tithe” our income to God … what has He obligated Himself to do?
Exactly what the grateful King of Persia (Artaxerxes by name) did … Malachi 3:10, continued … “Prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The (plenteous, but limited) storehouses of the great King of Persia!
And the (unlimited) storehouses of the great God of the universe!
An opened heathen treasury!
And an opened Heaven, its windows pouring our blessing upon blessing!
How much? ” … that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Looks like kings honor obedience!
And YES, I do believe God still blesses those who tithe!
Either positively, with some type of reward, “blessing.”
Or negatively, by withholding some type of trial. God said if we obey Him in our giving … “And I (the Lord) will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:11
Truly Paul was right … “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
It happened to the Jews who lived long ago, via the Persians.
It’s still happening to multitudes today, via the powerful God of Creation, Who is also the loving God of Redemption!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell