I decree that if anyone defies this edict, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled on it.
Ouch! That sounds like he means it! King Darius was referring to his edict that the Temple of the Lord be rebuilt. He was telling the people that this was important, that they needed to be on board and do nothing to hinder the work of the Lord.
Can you imagine the reaction if the preacher in your church got up one Sunday and said, “If anyone goes out this week and refuses to obey the Lord, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled on it.”
People would glance around at one another – wondering, “How should I react?” There would probably be some nervous chuckles and some uncomfortable shifting in the seats. Some might even get up and walk out. Some might say, “They only did ‘those’ things back in Bible days – they don’t apply to us now.”
I wonder where the magical line is that separates what God means in His word and what is just story telling? Actually, I don’t wonder at all.
John 14:6 (New International Version)
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.