Coming of the Kingdom

Ezra 4:1–24 (ESV)

1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the LORD, the God of Israel,

In his infinite wisdom, the Lord uses the plans by which wicked men mean to do harm, to do good. Joseph’s brothers wanted to kill him, but God used their plans for evil to provide food for many people. The Moabites hired Balaam to curse the people of Israel and God caused him to pronounce a blessing upon his people. Paul wanted to destroy the church in Jerusalem and he caused it scatter and spread to new cities and towns. The Jewish leaders thought they could destroy God’s church by persecuting Christians but the Holy Spirit used the suffering and hardships faced by Christians to strengthen and grow believers in their faith.

In the person of Jesus Christ, we have the clearest example of how God uses the evil plans of men and women to accomplish his purposes. God used sinful men and their desire to do evil (killing Jesus on a cross) in order to accomplish his great plan of redemption.

When Jesus Christ comes again to judge the living and the dead, all those who oppose him will finally and completely be defeated as they are thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14–15). Thus, where today it might look as if evil people are busy winning, we can be assured that this is temporary and when Christ returns, his kingdom will come in all its fullness.

In the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, Your kingdom come. With this prayer, we ask that God would rule us by his Word and Spirit so that we will submit to him more and more in our own lives. We also pray that God will preserve and increase his church and that he would destroy the works of the devil and every power that raises itself up against God and every conspiracy against God’s holy Word. We pray that God would do this until the fullness of his kingdom comes when he shall be all in all.