Honesty honours God
The issue of whether they can build the temple will be settled by a letter from the governor of their region to the king. As they point out is already a pretty huge victory that the governor wrote, he could have just unilaterally shut it down. The work proceeds while the letters are traveling. God is on their side, I can guess how this will work out.
The letter is quoted in full, and gives a ballsy picture of their sense of mission. The initial response to the question “who let you do this” is not to launch into obsequious praise of the Persian kings, but to honestly see themselves as servants of God, and the Kings, even the Babylonians who exiled them, as doing God’s will. They were the means by which god’s punishment for Israel’s unfaithfulness was meted out, and the permission by Cyrus to rebuild was allowing God’s servants to do his will.
They do ask Darius to check the records and see that the OK was for real, but they make no bones that God is the ultimate power in the equation.
I appreciate this. Recently our church has been doing some building work and, not for the first time in my existence, they have fudged and whinged around the local government approvals in a minor way.
I think it’s spiritually important to be completely straight with the power structures around you, and trust that God is in control of them and won’t let them frustrate his will on earth, as the Israelites have done here. It is a guileless response.
Personally I am unfocused and lacking a sense of mission. My children are making me sad as they are suffering from mental illness or disappointment in life. I need to pray for discipline and guidance.