Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:1-4)
A lay man in the street calls it an idea. From time to time, we have been hearing, “I have an idea.” Some, on the other hand, call it intuition—an understanding that just opens in our mind—an experience we find difficult to explain. We describe this experience as: “it just clicked in my mind, or my mind tells me that . . .” The children of God call it a vision. Vision in this content is not about seeing what the future holds. Whatever name we have given it, and whatever our experience might have been, it is the gentle hands of God that is stirring up our spirits to open up a chapter of divine wisdom in our mind so that His divine purposes concerning the new frontiers of our lives on earth will be accomplished.
An inspiration or a calling that benefit a community, a city, state, country or the whole world at large is a vision from God. The greatness of a man is not measured by the size of the strength of his muscle, his height nor his energy, but by the size of the gift he received from above. A great man is a normal human being with a great vision. A great vision cannot be achieved through human efforts without the touch of heaven. It is a gift through the divine mercy of God that man may participate as the co-builder of the on-going finishing touches of creation in the universe.
In the appointed time of deliverance of the Israelites, when God decided to gather the remnant of the household of Israel in captive from the four-corners of the world, He made use of the instrument at His disposal. We need to refresh our memory in this study. The Babylonians took the Israelites into captivity during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Even in the situation of no hope for mankind when the future seems bleak and nothing good is foreseeable, the plan of God for the hopeless situation of mankind will still be manifested. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:10-11) The same king of Babylon, King Cyrus, that reigned after Nebuchadnezzar was touched by the stretched hand of deliverance of God to deliver the Jews from their captivity. The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1) King Cyrus might have thought that he was embarking on a laudable program to build a temple of God in Jerusalem, but his thoughts were the fulfillment of deliverance plan for the Israelites. God worked through him to return the exiled Jews to their homeland. He made the proclamation that allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and also provided the necessary protection so that the Israelites may build the temple of God in Jerusalem. He did not stop at this; he gave them money for the project and returned all the temple articles taken by Nebuchadnezzar.
Albert Einstein, the man who discovered energy wrote an equation “E=mc2” as his Ph.D. thesis. This may not mean anything to the man in the street, but this three-variable equation became the power that all the nations of the world are seeking to have in order to solve their energy problems. Perhaps we may ask ourselves, “What do these letters mean to humanity?” It makes a difference of energy deficiency among humanity. Perhaps we ever wonder why some are given special abilities and others are not? To this question I will say God gave everybody an opportunity to be a co-builder or a co-creator in His daily finishing touches of creation work of the universe.
Bezaleel and Aholiab fit in perfectly with the divine stirring up of the spirit. God specifically filled them with His spirit, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship to carry out all the work of construction of the sanctuary. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. (Exodus 31:1-5)
Earlier in this study, we discussed the stirring up of the spirit of King Cyrus that led to his proclamation that the Temple of God should be built in Jerusalem. This mighty touch of Almighty God had a domino effect in the life of the people of God, the Israelites. God moved the hearts of the leaders, family heads, priests, and Levites and gave them a great desire to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Among the leaders that God moved their hearts was Zerubbabel and about 50,000 Israelites that summed up courage to return to Jerusalem. Major changes begin on the inside as God works on our attitudes, beliefs, desires and decision making. These changes lead to faithful actions. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13) These people humbled themselves before God. They returned to Jerusalem according to the direction of God and they remained the core of God’s people in the nation today.
The proclamation of freedom went to all the twelve tribes of Israelites, but only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin responded. The other ten tribes disregarded the freedom call, and they chose to remain in Babylon. They had the opportunity to partake in the divine vision of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, but they failed to honor it. And they lost their lineage.
God is constantly stirring the spirits of mankind. Some are sensitive enough to understand the divine direction that God was pointing them to. Some only feel somehow disturbed in their spirit but are void of understanding about what to do. Some on the other hand are spectators on this earth with a lot of potentials within them and may eventually die with the untapped wisdom and abilities that God had given them. Jesus Christ came to stir the hearts of sinners to return to God. His disciples continue the faithful mission of mercy. Some honored the invitation and embraced salvation. Some disregard the quickening of deliverance in their spirits and remain in the clutches of bondage of sin. Look around you today and consider what the world has become. I pray that the thought of the love and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross will stir your heart to return to the Lord and embrace the gift of salvation.
Prayer: Oh Lord, endow me the grace to be sensitive and respond to the impulse of your divine touch of your mercy. Please Lord, quicken my spirit to wake up to my responsibilities and the purpose of my creation on earth. Empower me to be committed to do your blessed will for your glory in Jesus name, Amen.