Day 275 October 2
(11 This is a copy of the letter they sent to him.) To King Artaxerxes from your servants, the people of the province Beyond the River. 12 May it be known to the king that the Jews who left you and came to us have arrived in Jerusalem. They are rebuilding the rebellious and wicked city; they are completing the walls and repairing the foundations. 13 May it be known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls completed, they will not pay tribute or tax or dues, and the royal revenue will be reduced.
14 Since we receive our salary from the palace, and since it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonor, we now send this letter and inform the king 15 so that you may search the records of your ancestors. You will discover in the records that this is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces, and that it has been in revolt over a long period of time. As a result, this city was laid waste. 16 We tell the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls completed, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.
17 The king sent this answer: Greetings to Rehum the royal deputy and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and elsewhere in the province Beyond the River. 18 The entire letter that you sent to us has been read in translation for me. 19 I issued an order; they searched and discovered that this city has revolted against kings over a long period of time. There has been much rebellion and revolt there. 20 However, there have been mighty kings over Jerusalem who also ruled over the whole province Beyond the River. Tribute and taxes and dues were paid to them.
21 Therefore, issue an order to stop these people: this city is not to be rebuilt until I make a decree. 22 Be sure to carry out this order! Why should danger grow and threaten the king?
23 When the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their colleagues, they hurried to Jerusalem to oppose the Jews and made them stop by force of arms. 24 At that time the work on God’s house in Jerusalem stopped and was suspended until the second year of the rule of Persia’s King Darius.
Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a servant who managed his property. The rich man was told that the manager was wasting his master’s money, 2 so he called him in and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Turn in a complete account of your handling of my property, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3 The servant said to himself, ‘My master is going to dismiss me from my job. What shall I do? I am not strong enough to dig ditches, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 Now I know what I will do! Then when my job is gone, I shall have friends who will welcome me in their homes.’ 5 So he called in all the people who were in debt to his master. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 ‘One hundred barrels of olive oil,’ he answered. ‘Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘sit down and write fifty.’ 7 Then he asked another one, ‘And you—how much do you owe?’ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he answered. ‘Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘write eight hundred.’ 8 As a result the master of this dishonest manager praised him for doing such a shrewd thing; because the people of this world are much more shrewd in handling their affairs than the people who belong to the light.”
9 And Jesus went on to say, “And so I tell you: make friends for yourselves with worldly wealth, so that when it gives out, you will be welcomed in the eternal home. 10 Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones. 11 If, then, you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with true wealth? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what belongs to you?
13 “No servant can be the slave of two masters; such a slave will hate one and love the other or will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
13 Are any of you wise and understanding? Show that your actions are good with a humble lifestyle that comes from wisdom. 14 However, if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, then stop bragging and living in ways that deny the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above. Instead, it is from the earth, natural and demonic. 16 Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and everything that is evil. 17 What of the wisdom from above? First, it is pure, and then peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good actions, fair, and genuine. 18 Those who make peace sow the seeds of justice by their peaceful acts.
Prayer: draw us into your peace, dear Lord, so that we might share shalom where ever we go today. Amen.