“And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel” (Ezra 6:22).TEXT — Ezra 6:16-22
Charles Spurgeon said, “There is a marvelous medicinal power in joy. Most medicines are distasteful; but this, which is the best of all medicines, is sweet to the taste, and comforting to the heart. This blessed joy is very contagious… Holy joy will oil the wheels of your life’s machinery. Holy joy will strengthen you for your daily labor. Holy joy will beautify you and give you an influence over the lives of others”.
In our reading today, two separate events brought joy to the heart of the saints. First was the dedication of the temple and the second was the observance of the Passover. Cyrus had allowed the first set of exiles to return to Israel for the purpose of rebuilding the temple. But intrigues and hostility of some people delayed the project for about fourteen years until it resumed under Darius.
Under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua and with the support of two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, the abandoned work was eventually completed. The completion of this project brought a lot of joy to the heart of the people.
With the temple completed, the leadership focused on the observance of the Passover feast. As was rightly done with the dedication of the house of God, the Passover was also observed with decorum. People separated themselves from filthiness and they joyfully observed the feast for seven days.
The Lord delights in the joy of His children. The Israelites understood this clearly and therefore were able to rejoice in the things that enhanced their close relationship with God. That they could worship again in the temple and observe the Passover gave them joy. You too must be joyful today because of the sacrifice of Christ our Passover Lamb. No negative situation should dampen your joy in the Lord today.
Thought for the day
No matter how bad and sad the world becomes, God will never cease to supply joy to His people.
- in one year
- ACTS 9 – 10