Artaxerxes

Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

A group of Missouri farmers and landowners voted against the erection of power lines on their land. They felt it would interfere with farming and were trying to prevent the open spaces of the countryside from being cluttered with wires.

Yet the push for new power lines seems necessary if new methods of power production are going to be used for large urban centres. The conversion of wind power into energy has increased in popularity in recent years. However, the power that is produced in the windiest parts of the country must be transported to major cities. This means that power lines need to be built across the country. So now, one of the last barriers between new power production methods and their usefulness is a small group of landowners and farmers.

Artaxerxes, the king of one of the largest empires in history, had to choose whether to stand between the power of God and its use in the re- construction of Jerusalem. Nehemiah, the man who served him his drinks and probably cheered his court life, was in touch with God. The record states that “the good hand” of God was upon him (Nehemiah 2:8). This meant that God was working through him.

Nehemiah’s acquaintance with Artaxerxes was not enough to put God’s power to work. Artaxerxes himself had to decide if he would become a part of the electrical line that would move God’s power from one corner of the universe to the other. Although God has many ways to accomplish His purposes, people can either accept or reject the chance to be a part of the action.

Artaxerxes decided not to stand in the way of the Lord’s plans. He issued a decree in order to prosper the cause of God. His decree not only provided materials for building but also included safe passage. In the process he lost his cupbearer. On the other hand, he gained a place in the Bible as one of the few foreign kings who cooperated with God.

Father, please open my eyes to opportunities to be Your channel of blessing.

For Further Study: Nehemiah 2:1–8; Ezra 7:23; 1 Corinthians 3:9

Key Bible Texts

“And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me” (Nehemiah 2:8). For Further Study: Nehemiah 2:1–8; Ezra 7:23; 1 Corinthians 3:9

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