Text: Ezra 5-7; Psalm 117
When King Darius writes his decree to re-authorize the Jews to rebuild the temple, he includes these words:
And whatever is needed—bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem require—let that be given to them day by day without fail, that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons. (Ezra 6:9-10)
This made me think. My first impression is, “something’s not right here.” The wealthy king is providing what is needed for worship. Aren’t the sacrifices supposed to be sacrificially given by the people who worship? If the king provides them, won’t the people be detached from their God rather than drawn near? Makes you think. (I think the idea here is that Darius, a pagan king, wishes these sacrifices to be offered on his own behalf – see how he asks for prayers?).
What about us? When I come to worship is it receive, or is it to offer myself as a sacrifice?
in Him, Mike