January 08, 2014

A Little Message

Ezra 6:1-12

A scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of Media, and this was written on it…
—Ezra 6:2


When U.S. president John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960, one item on his ambitious agenda was to pass civil rights legislation. An assassin’s bullet stopped him, but Lyndon B. Johnson picked up Kennedy’s mantle to make the civil rights bills into law.

King Cyrus had made a little-known decree allowing Israel to rebuild their temple to the Lord (Ezra 1:2-4). Darius, the next king, helped the people continue the work of God.

Tattenai, the local governor, wanted strong evidence to support Israel’s rebuilding of the temple. Darius found the message written by Cyrus, who had wanted it known that he was picked by God to help build the Lord’s new temple. Cyrus had even laid out specific instructions to follow. So Darius declared, “Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God.” The Lord used these kings for his purpose. A little hidden scroll encouraged the people to see that God wanted his plan to go forward.

Hidden messages can come out and encourage or warn us. An old letter found in a drawer can bring help just when you need it. A call from a friend can come when you need a listening ear. A word from God’s story can remind you that he will always be with you. Keep your eyes and heart open for God’s messages of love and encouragement to you today.

Holy Spirit, make me attentive to your messages of love, forgiveness, and mercy that may be hidden in plain sight. Help me hear and experience the message of Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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