group is reading: the one in the book of Ezra about the Israelites
rebuilding the temple under the reign of Darius. The story starts
when Cyrus looks at old laws and realizes the Israelites have
permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.
So he gives authorization, and the scattered remnant can hardly
believe their luck. But no sooner have they returned than they are
badgered by naysayers who effectively stall the project indefinitely.
Hopes raised and then crushed are sometimes harder to swallow than a
steady state of hopelessness.
But the story doesn't end there. Later, two prophets push the next
king, Darius, on this topic, and he looks back and decides that what
is right is not only that the Israelites be cleared to rebuild but
that he'll pay for it! What an improbably turn of events.
I share this because I feel there are many times in the life of the
people of God today that we are between Cyrus and Darius. We remember
promising times but currently sit in the ruin of dashed hopes. We
need to remember the book of Ezra, and recall the faithfulness of God
even as the people of Israel were between Cyrus and Darius.
It might have seemed a long time to wait, but when God worked it all
out, He exceeded previous hopes in unimaginable ways. Let us
therefore exercise patience and trust as we wait between Cyrus and