Today’s scripture selection: Second Chronicles 33-36
Key verses: Second Chronicles 33:22-23
“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: ‘This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’”
Almost half a century after their temple had been destroyed, a foreign king conquered the one who had sent them into exile, and allowed the people of Judah to return from captivity. And even though it had been prophesied – I imagine it was pretty unexpected help.
Life can be like that.
We feel as if we are in “exile” ourselves. We feel abandoned; forgotten; oppressed. And then, suddenly, and every unexpectedly – there is help – and hope.
How do we explain it?
Some say “Well, I guess my luck is changing.”
Some say “Well, finally, my hard work has paid off. I’ve managed to turn things around!”
Some don’t try and explain it at all – they just “thank” their “lucky stars” and move on.
But people of faith humbly bow in prayer and thank the One they know intimately. They thank God for His amazing grace; once again at work.
I imagine when the people of Judah were allowed to come out of exile – some cynically and bitterly said – “What took so long?”
But I think there were probably many, many more who lifted their eyes to the heavens and simply said “Thank you.”
How about you? How has God recently provided wonderful, merciful, unexpected help?
Can you see it? If you can – give thanks.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see your miraculous hand at work, in the most unexpected and gracious of ways. AMEN.