Ezra the Scribe is ready to lead another group of Jewish refugees (captives who have been set free) from the land of Babylon (now ruled by the Persians) back to the land of Judah, back “home.”
This venture has been made possible (to some degree anyway) by gifts (sizable financing) from the King of Persia, Artaxerxes by name. A rarity in ancient history, such kindness!
Now here are Ezra’s words as he pondered the wonderful turn of events, from slavery to liberty! “Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.” Ezra 7:27
Gold and silver provided by royalty, with a promise of more if needed, from the King’s vast resources!
Yet Ezra does NOT view the King as the ultimate giver in this wonderful act of provision! (Although you can be sure proper respect was shown to the Monarch for his largess.)
No, look at today’s Text again … “Blessed be the LORD GOD of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.”
It was GOD Who caused the gifts to flow!
It was GOD Who wanted His House (the Temple of Solomon being rebuilt, best as possible) beautified!
It was GOD Who placed such a generous “idea” into the King’s heart, mind!
And it was (of course) GOD Who deserved the final praise and adoration and worship, GOD alone!
That’s the RIGHT WAY to view the “blessings” that come your way.
Certainly thank (it’s just good manners, etiquette) the individual giver, who (by the way) obeyed God’s promptings in his or her life, the heaven-sent notion to give to a certain person or ministry or cause. Thank them and MEAN it, too! From the depths of your heart.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME … realize that God is the Ultimate Sender of all life’s good things!
(Look: “EVERY good gift and EVERY perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17)
So … thank God, honor Him as the true Source of all Blessing!
(As in: “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,” the “Doxology” we all used to sing every single week at Church! Or at least we did.)
That’s today’s Lesson, today’s thought, dear readers.
Gifts come … via the hands of others … but finally from the Hand of Almighty God!
Thank the donor!
Worship the Sender, the Lord of Heaven and earth!
One more time, today’s Verse … “Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell