EZRA 6:13-15: “Then, according to the word sent by Darius the king, Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what Darius the king had ordered. And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia; and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.” (‭ESV)

OBSERVATION: What a difference a “Day” makes! This was an old ad campaign for a Men’s Clothing Store. They would show a man in drab and shabby clothes, and then, he was instantly transformed into something wonderful. The announcer would then do the voiceover – “What a difference a day makes.”

This is more than a slogan, and more than a voiceover, for the believer in Jesus Christ! This should be the common experience of our lives when we walk by faith. We may be facing difficulty, setbacks, and even great spiritual warfare, but we must always remember – “What a difference a day makes!” The Psalmist proclaims – “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭30‬:‭5‬ ESV)

Ezra, and the leaders of Israel who had returned to Jerusalem, under the edict of Cyrus, King of Persia, were facing such days. The entire region had formed an opposition against them to halt the rebuilding of both the City and the Temple. Letters were sent to Darius, the new King of Persia, and upon reading these letters the work was ordered to be stopped, pending further investigation. It appeared the adversaries of the Lord had won. It was a dark day in Jerusalem. Oh, but – “What a difference a day makes!”

Appealing to King Darius, a formal inquiry was made into the edict that had been issued by King Cyrus. It was found and read before King Darius. What happened? Not only was the work allowed to be restarted – it was fully funded by a pagan king! This was more than a miracle, this was the sovereign and mighty hand of God, overcoming His enemies, and providing for His children. “What a difference a day makes!”

Yet, we can easily miss the key element in this entire story. We can deduce it down to strategic strikes and counter-strikes, crafty negotiations, and skillful diplomacy. From the bleachers this is what appears to have happened. But from the playing field we see the dynamics more clearly. It was not skillful diplomacy or planning – it was the “Prophetic” Word of God that prevailed and led HIs people to victory. The text declares – “And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.”

One could almost miss this. Yet, this is the pivotal part of the story. It is never by might, nor by power, planning, or our own skillful efforts. Victory in the life of God’s people always comes through His Spirit, His Word, and His Power. If they had not been heeding the “Prophetic” Word – they would have missed the “Empowered Provision”. John writes in his First Epistle – “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (‭1 John‬ ‭5‬:‭3-5‬ ESV)

So are you in a tough situation? Do you need wisdom and guidance? Are you being falsely accused or spiritually attacked? Run to the “Prophetic” Word, the breathed upon Word of God. As you pour yourself into the Scriptures – He will pour Himself into you! The Lord will lead, guide, and provide above all that you are able to ask or think. Through the sovereign power of His Holy Spirit you will experience – “What a difference a day makes!”

Lord, make such a difference in my life today. In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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