The Lord Had Made Them Joyful


The temple is finished and they celebrate the Lord’s feast with joy because the Lord had made them joyful.

Years pass in this chapter. But this time, the years go by while they are at work and are making progress. They aren’t years of waiting and wondering what happened to the promise.

When the work is stopped for years because of the lies of others, how did they react? We don’t really know, but we know the work stopped until the prophets stirred them up back to work.

Years passed, but God’s word wasn’t returned void. Years passed, but God’s command was still valid. Years passed, but God’s provision hadn’t failed. Years passed, and there was probably confusion. Years passed, and there was probably discouragement. Years passed, and there was probably questioning. Years passed, and the Lord was at work getting people into place from kings to prophets.

The Lord knew the timing. The one king needed removing. Darius needed to be in place. He was the one to read the decree. He was the one to make a proclamation not only that the work was allowed to continue, but that he would ensure the men were paid and had what they needed. He would make sure they had all the sacrifices they wanted.

Darius had the fear of the Lord. He makes these grand gestures and then adds, pray for me and my sons.

He was a pagan king, but he knew his frailty and believed there was a greater power than he possessed. He didn’t see himself as solely responsible for gaining all that his hand ruled.

And Darius made his proclamation and the prophets spoke their encouragement and the work resumed.

There were still years of work that had to be done.

The work is never finished, even after the miracle is proclaimed and the Lord sets things right. There is no end to the Christian life. We have life eternal! There will always be more work to do, but after the Lord sets things right, the work goes on with joy!

The weeping and wondering, the confusion and questions, are gone. Rejoicing comes in their place.