Check out verses 21-24. This king, Artaxerxes realized he’d be better off if he’d do what he could to help Ezra and Israel. He did not want the wrath of the Almighty God upon him or his kingdom (v. 23). He was so certain that his support would grant him some level of protection that he was willing to provide 7500 lbs. of silver, 550 gallons of wine. 550 gallons of olive oil, etc. (v. 22). On top of that, he warned that the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, and temple servants, etc. were not to be taxed or charged in any way. Artaxerxes and many others took God’s decree about cursing those who cursed Israel (Genesis 12:3) quite seriously.
Ya know, we’ve failed to take the fear of the Lord to heart both as humans and as Americans. That fear of the Lord, the Words says, is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10 & Psalm 111:10). Sure, we’ve become wise in our own eyes declaring things to be that should not be. Yet, the Word tells us He confounds that wisdom (Isaiah 44:25, I Cor. 1:20 & 27). When we oppose Israel, when we turn our backs on her, we must admit that we’re willing to be cursed. If you take a look at the tragedies, both natural and man-made, occurring daily in our country, you’d be hard pressed to believe we’re not experiencing some cursing right now. Fires, floods and mass murders, yeah, that’s real and the reality is, it’s only going to get worse unless we repent, return and restore. Israel needs us, but not as much as we need her because God will always be on her side.
Father, wake us up from this delusional sleep, this blind wisdom that’s leading us to cataclysmic tribulations. Yes, we want Jesus to return but we’re not done here. We need Your help. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!