“Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 7:27).
Ezra was flabbergasted that a Gentile king would want to participate in restoring the Lord’s temple. He had been given a blank check to fund the project: “Whatever more may be needed for the house of your God, which you may have occasion to provide, pay for it from the king’s treasury” (v 20).
Yet here we are, gathered out of every nation on earth, called to build the Lord’s house in our day. “For we are God’s fellow workers…. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones…each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it” (1 Cor 3:9-13). Gold speaks of deity, and glorifying the Lord. Silver is a picture of redemption, and the vital work of the gospel. Precious stones—that’s caring for God’s dear people. What a privilege, and responsibility, to work for God on His building crew, His beautifying crew!