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January 6, 2012 – Ezra 6

Click here to read Ezra 6 on BibleGateway.com

002It seems that Hollywood never runs out of love for the personification motif. For those of you that are getting ready to look up the definition of “personification,” let me save you the trouble. Notice how many movies in the last decade revolve around something made of plastic or metal coming to life: toys, cars, computers, radios, and on and on. For a little realism, I’d like to see someone make a movie about the life of keys after dark; there’s no other explanation for how my car keys can begin the night on the hall table when I place them, and end the night in the nether regions of the couch. I understand that all creatures great and small have the need to explore, but I don’t think scaling Mt Davenport is going to inspire anyone, so Mr. Keys should just stay in his little cubby instead of invoking his little key-pixie wanderlust.


Rest assured, fellow Bible trekker, that wandering inanimate objects did not start with the era of moving pictures. For as long as people have been making stuff, stuff has been wedging itself into cushions, falling behind appliances, and traversing the digestive tracts of family pets. In Ezra 6, we see King Darius trying to locate a decree of his predecessor, King Cyrus. He naturally looks in the royal archives in the capital, but alas, ye olde paper gnome has stolen the paper. It eventually turns up in Ecbatana, the summer home of the kings. Always in the last place you look.

Moreover, this is no ordinary decree. Cyrus had granted the Israelites the opportunity to rebuild their temple, an opportunity that was going unfulfilled due to (among other things) the ongoing harassment of the Israelites’ neighbors. This misplaced little note proved that the Jews not only had the right to rebuild their temple, but that anyone that interfered was to be impaled on one of the supporting walls of his own home. Gotta love the warm fuzzies of those crazy Persians.


Notice how this document, so vitally important to one group of persons, was so forgettable by the issuing king that he left it at his beach house with his royal speedos. Often times, we don’t realize how the little things in our lives can be essential to the lives of others. That extra dollar you left as a tip at Bob’s House o’ Chicken Wings? Maybe that was enough for the waitress to pay for a doctor visit for her sick baby. That extra second you took to allow Old Lady McCreary to cross the street in front of you? Maybe that saved her life. That little “thank you” may be just what the ticket agent at the airport needed to hear that day. Opening the door for that man at the grocery store may be just what saves his back from needing another surgery.

The Bible makes clear again and again how the most insignificant events can change fate in ways we can’t begin to imagine. What will you do today to change the world?


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