Background: The book of Ezra recounts the return of God’s people to their Promised Land from slavery in Babylon. First they rebuild the temple and then under the leadership of Ezra, they rebuild their commitement to God. This sixth chapter reminds us that God continued to provide favor from the King’s of Babylon for His people who were rebuilding the temple .
Ask the children…
After many years of building, the local rulers (not God’s people) in Judah had forgotten the decree by King Cyrus of Babylon who had decreed that God’s people rebuild the temple and he offered his support. God’s people wrote a lengthy letter reminding the new King Darius of their commission and suggested that King Darius have the records studied to see if what they were saying was true. What did King Darius find in the records?
“In the first year of King Cyrus’s reign, a decree was sent out concerning the Temple of God at Jerusalem. “Let the Temple be rebuilt on the site where Jews used to offer their sacrifices, using the original foundations. Its height will be ninety feet, and its width will be ninety feet.[a] 4 Every three layers of specially prepared stones will be topped by a layer of timber. All expenses will be paid by the royal treasury.” (Ezra 6:3, 4)
So King Darius wrote a letter back to the local rulers in Juday. What did he tell them to do?
“Do not disturb the construction of the Temple of God. Let it be rebuilt on its original site, and do not hinder the governor of Judah and the elders of the Jews in their work.8 “Moreover, I hereby decree that you are to help these elders of the Jews as they rebuild this Temple of God. You must pay the full construction costs, without delay, from my taxes collected in the province west of the Euphrates River so that the work will not be interrupted.” (Ezra 6:7, 8 )
So not only did the temple construction not get stopped, but now the local rulers were required to pay for it. How good is our God to give favor to His people.
Ask your children where they need favor in their lives? In their personal life or in their school or relational lives? Pray with God to give them favor where they need it most and then see how God comes through. Encourage them to patience since God’s timing is not our timing.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
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