Ezra 5-6:12, the Jews have to advocate for themselves. They must remind the new king of what was promised to them. They ask the new king, Darius, to uphold his end of the bargain. They asked for them to be who they said they would be. I feel that.
Darius said two things that struck me.
6:4 …Let the cost be paid from the royal registry.
6:12 …Let it be done with all diligence.
Diligence means: careful and persistent work or effort.
We love to see it.
Remember how we talked about restoration and anti-racism will COST us. Cost you. Darius sends funds and a set of fresh supplies. He could’ve just said you guys can go back to work and I’ll mind my business. He sets them up to win. He gives them what they need to prosper. Ensures their success. That hits different.
It reminds me of the story of the good Samaritan. Read Luke 10:25-37.
This line: ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’
What if it costs you more than you expected?
The story of the Good Samaritan is about 1.) power, position & privilege 2.) time & resources.
Power, position & privilege- The Good Samaritan had power, the ability to effect change. He has position, he’s on level ground above the ditch. He has privilege, the option to not be affected by another’s situation.
Time & resources- Time, he stopped on his way to wherever he was going, no matter the inconvenience. Resources, he provided for the man out of his own pocket.
Verse 37… go and do likewise.
What I love most about the story of the Good Samaritan is that ultimately you and I are the ones in the ditch and Jesus is the one reaching down to save us. He uses his power (he was God, hello), position (a sympathetic high priest), and privilege (he def didn’t have to come down from heaven). He uses His time and resources to make us whole. Like King Darius and the good samaritan he comes back and replenishes the supply. He doesn’t save us and leave us. He saves us and walks with us. Jesus is diligent with us. Thank GOD he’s coming back.
GO AND DO LIKEWISE.
How are you doing likewise?
What resources have you given to the cause? Are you supporting black owned businesses? Are you donating to organizations that are helping do this work?
Have you built a system into your life to be about anti-racism vs. letting it happen whenever?
Maybe you don’t have resources but you have time… Are you reading? Listening? Serving this cause in any way?
Are you using your privilege to back out or are you using your privilege to push in?
How diligent are you willing to be?
What if it costs more than you expected?
How bad do you really want it? If not bad enough, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you why?