Day 277 October 4
Then King Darius made a decree, and they searched the archives where the documents were stored in Babylon. 2 But a scroll was found in Ecbatana, the capital of the province of Media, on which was written the following:
A memorandum— 3 In the first year of his rule, King Cyrus made a decree: Concerning God’s house in Jerusalem: Let the house at the place where they offered sacrifices be rebuilt and let its foundations be retained. Its height will be ninety feet and its width ninety feet, 4 with three layers of dressed stones and one[a] layer of timber. The cost will be paid from the royal treasury. 5 In addition, the gold and silver equipment from God’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, is to be restored, that is, brought back to Jerusalem and put in their proper place in God’s house.
6 Now you, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and you, their colleagues, the officials in the province Beyond the River, keep away! 7 Leave the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its original site.
8 I also issue a decree about what you should do to help these elders of the Jews as they rebuild this house of God: The total cost is to be paid to these people, and without delay, from the royal revenue that is made up of the tribute of the province Beyond the River. 9 And whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, or sheep for entirely burned offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—let that be given to them day by day without fail 10 so that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the lives of the king and his sons.
11 I also decree that if anyone disobeys this edict, a beam is to be pulled out of the house of the guilty party, and the guilty party will then be impaled upon it. The house will be turned into a trash heap.
12 May the God who has established his name there overthrow any king or people who try to change this order or to destroy God’s house in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have decreed it; let it be done with all diligence.
Comment: another story of the overcoming apparently insurmountable odds. God is good, all the time; all the time, God is goo!
19 “There was once a rich man who dressed in the most expensive clothes and lived in great luxury every day. 20 There was also a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who used to be brought to the rich man’s door, 21 hoping to eat the bits of food that fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the feast in heaven. The rich man died and was buried, 23 and in Hades,[a] where he was in great pain, he looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side. 24 So he called out, ‘Father Abraham! Take pity on me, and send Lazarus to dip his finger in some water and cool off my tongue, because I am in great pain in this fire!’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Remember, my son, that in your lifetime you were given all the good things, while Lazarus got all the bad things. But now he is enjoying himself here, while you are in pain. 26 Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross over to us from where you are.’ 27 The rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 where I have five brothers. Let him go and warn them so that they, at least, will not come to this place of pain.’ 29 Abraham said, ‘Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.’ 30 The rich man answered, ‘That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.’ 31 But Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.’”
Comment: Jesus is speaking of himself, of course, knowing that even after he rises from death, still people will refuse to believe.
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Prayer: hear my voice in the morning and my love in the evening, O Lord. Amen.