So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. Ezra 6:14 (NIV 1984)
The Lord used ungodly, pagan kings to further His purposes with His people. Note the kings mentioned by Ezra in this verse.
Cyrus was spoken to by the Lord in a dream and told that he would rule over all the kingdoms of the world. When he came to power having conquered the Babylonians, he decreed that the Jewish exiles could return from Babylon to their home in Judah. Zerubbabel and Ezra lead groups of exiles back to the Promised Land and began to rebuild the temple. This was a fulfillment of the prophecy through Jeremiah that the captivity was to last 70 years.
Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city, beginning with the city walls. He appointed Nehemiah governor of the province and he gave permission for materials needed for the rebuilding project.
Local opposition arose to the rebuilding project, but he Lord used Darius to put a final end to the opposition, decreeing that the Jewish people should be allowed to continue their rebuilding without any further resistance (see Ezra 6). Darius said, “Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site.” (Ezra 6:7)
All three of these kings were not worshipers or followers of the living God. Yet, the Lord used each to further His good plan for His people.
There are times when we may find ourselves serving under the leadership of those who are not the best of leaders – not necessarily ones we would choose, if given the opportunity. Yet, there is no authority over us who can frustrate God’s plan or destiny for us. He is the final authority and He will not allow any human authority to block, delay, or hinder His plan for your life. Do not fear – if needed, He can work through, around, or even remove them.
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7 (NIV 1984)
Rest in Him! Trust in Him! He is good and all that He is doing is good. Even when it doesn’t feel good!