July 10, 2017
Ezra 5-Part 2
LET IT GLOW
Who is going through some discouraging times? Who doesn't need to hear, "You can do this" and "God's got it under control, so trust Him," or "Don't quit; just finish this."
At one time or another, we all need to hear that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. Nothing can separate us from His love. Paul reassured us of that in Romans 8. Well, the Jews needed to hear it too. They had been forced to stop the building on the Temple due to some false accusations made to the king. Although, later on, the Prophet Zechariah gave them much needed words.
Zechariah, like Haggai, prophesied during the reign of the monarch Darius, king of the Medo-Persia. During this time Israel had no king. They had stopped building the Temple for about 15 years, but now King Darius blessed their efforts to complete it. The prophet served as a motivator for the task.
In the first chapter of his book, God invited the Jews, though Zechariah, to turn to the LORD, turn from their evil ways, and evil doings. In doing so, God said He would turn to hem, The Jews returned to worshiping God, for they had lived through His judgment during the 70 years of captivity.
One thing the Jews experienced was that Jehovah is faithful and always keeps His word. (Falwell)
Liberty Bible Commentary tells us of Zechariah's 4 messages to Israel:
- Obedience is better than fasting. (7:1-7)
- Disobedience leads to severe judgment. (7:8-14)
- God's jealousy over His people will lead to their repentance and blessing. (8:1-17)
- The fasts will become feasts. (8:18-23).
Paul encourage the Roman church in 8:37, Nay I all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
The word conqueror in the Greek language is hupernoikao (hoop-er-nik-ah'-o), which means to vanquish beyond; gain a decisive victory.
Now that sounds like encouraging words.
Back in Ezra 5, we read of Zerubbabel and Jeshua began to build the house of God at Jerusalem. With them were the prophets of God helping them. God wanted the Temple built and we know it happened in spite of all the opposition.
Can we be motivators for those discouraged? Keep up the good work, y'all.
LET IT GROW
Here they go again-those discouragers. The devil seems to have his people around for that purpose when God's children are doing kingdom work.
In verse 3, the governor and companions from the west side of the Euphrates River, mind you, came to inspect the building progress.
J. Vernon McGee puts the conversation in our terms: "What's the big idea? You were ordered to stop building!" they were saying. The Jews replied, "It's no one of your business. You have no right to ask that question of us."
You go guys! That reply could have put the Jews in hot water, but it didn't.
Verse 5 states, But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius; and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.
Can we depend on God to keep His eye on His own? Says so here in black and white, folks.
Well, here is another letter sent special delivery:
We didn't go up there specifically to spy this out-we are really not their enemies-we just happened to be in the neighborhood and stopped by for a little visit. Those Jews would not tell us who the working men were, nor would they tell us who commanded them to do the building. They told about their history of the Captivity some 70 years ago. It was King Cyrus who commanded the Jews to rebuild the Temple and gave them supplies.
Those guys didn't believe what the Jews claimed, so they asked the king to search out in his records. They were convinced that the Jews were doing it on their own, and no such decree existed.
We know the Jews were in the position where God wanted them to be. Yet, they were discouraged. How much easier it would have been for them to walk away from the project, but they didn't.
Discouraged saint, be anchored in Christ, our Rock and Salvation. God is with His people and His will is going to be done. Let us not forget it. We can be more than conquerors in Christ who loves us!
LET IT GO
Continue on with the work God has called me to do, in spite of the opposition.
Be a "more than conqueror."
Christ loves me and will provide for me.
Be an encourager to a discouraged one.