Our last consideration regarding God’s mysterious ways is a mind boggling story recorded in Ezra 6:21-22.
There was a time of great celebration among God’s people because they continued work on The Temple. What I ask you to consider is this… the commentary given by Ezra about WHY and HOW they celebrated. Before we go further… read the first paragraph of this post again.
The reason the people were joyful was because God MADE them joyful. The WAY they were MADE joyful was God TURNED THE HEART OF THE KING OF ASSYRIA so that he helped them build the Temple. Did you get that? GOD TURNED the King’s heart so that he did something he otherwise would not have chosen to do! This is affirmed in Proverbs 21:1, ” The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.”
God made the King of Assyria want to do something he otherwise would not have wanted to do WITHOUT violating his will! How? Because God is all powerful… over all people… in all places… at all times. God can do whatever He chooses because He is God. Sometimes God does it publicly through plagues… like with Egypt and Moses. Then there are times it is done secretly… by working on people’s heart (This post).
This is encouraging to know in the midst of difficult circumstances with difficult people when we need God’s intervention. He intervenes on our behalf for HIS glory. Thus we have confidence that God can do ANYTHING! That should bring every Christian great comfort in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.
If you didn’t have time to follow the link to the passage above, I’ve included it below…
Ezra 6:21 Everyone who had joined them and separated himself from the uncleanness of the peoples of the land to worship the Lord, the God of Israel. 22 And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. ESV