God’s Irresistible Will
Updated: Mar 5
Chan Gin Kai
Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates carried it out with diligence. So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. (Ezra 6:13-15)
In the last article, we saw how God moved His hand powerfully to help His people. Tattenai attempted to stop the rebuilding of the Temple by writing to King Darius. Instead, of issuing a command to stop the rebuilding, Darius commanded Tattenai and his team to help the Jews in their work.
God is able to turn threats into opportunities, and our weaknesses into strengths.
The above passage acknowledged the help of the Gentile kings, Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes. It also recognised the contributions of the opposers, Tattenai, Shethar-Bozenai and their associates who “carried it out (the decree of Darius) with diligence.” And of course the “good guys” (the elders of the Jews, Haggai and Zechariah) were all uplifted too.
The Bible gave credit to the different parties who played a part in getting the Temple rebuilt – the Jews and the Gentiles, the advocates and the opposers.
This is more than just giving credit where credit is due. It also shows how God can assemble the most unlikely team to fulfil His plans.
Anyone who has participated in team sports would know the importance of unity in the team, a sense of camaraderie and a common mission. But these “team members” were as different as day and night. They worshipped different gods, they were from different countries, and they had different cultures. They didn’t even like each other. And they certainly had different agendas. But God could make all of them work to His glory.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)
Some of them thought they were fulfilling their own wishes, but they unknowingly fulfilled God’s. Some of them may not have believed in God, but He bent them to His will. Some of them were discouraged, but God provided strength. Some of them lost their direction and God guided them back. He is in control, His wisdom is far beyond ours, and His plans will always be fulfilled.
I’ll bet we’ve all tried resisting God’s will before. We know what He wants, but we prefer something different. We’ve all had our Jonah moments, where we defy God’s plans, and get dragged back sulking to do His will.
We are, to put it mildly – strange; and to put it bluntly – stupid. God honours us when He includes us in His plans. But we regard it as an arrow to dodge, or a burden to bear. God’s plan though sometimes tough, always benefits us. But we do not trust His intention or His love.
For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel. (Ezra 6:22)
Imagine the joy of the Jews when God’s will was done, and their goal was accomplished. It was glorious.
Whether we choose to be part of God’s dream, He will get it fulfilled. If we choose to exclude ourselves from His plan, we will miss the chance to see His miracles, and forgo a share in His victory.
God’s will is irresistible. Let’s make God’s dream our dream, and share in His glory.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God". Gin Kai joined the Central Christian Church in 1988.