Bible In One Year-Day 179 (Friday, June 28, 2013)
Commentary: Ezra4-6. Eventually, the adversaries (i.e. the foreigners who occupied Judah while they were in exile) heard about the rebuilding and repairing of the Temple. They decided to cajole Zerubbabel and the elders of Judah into accommodating them in building the Temple. The Judeans refused to compromise. Then the adversaries raised serial means of discouragement against the Judeans;
Ezra 4:4-5 “Then the people of the land weakened (discouraged) the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.”
By extension, this opposition lingered into the reign of Esther’s husband, Ahasuerus, Ez4:6. Artaxerxes reigned after Esther’s husband and a letter was sent to him by the opposition to stop the Jews from building the Temple. He approved it;
Ezra 4:21 “Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.”
He responded based on the content of the letter he received and he thought the Jews might revolt if the Temple was completed which might have great effect on the king’s treasury. When the opposition got the letter from Artaxerxes, they confronted the Judeans forcefully;
Ezra 4:23-24 “Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.”
Surprisingly, he was still the one who sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem.
The building only started at the instructions of God by the mouths of Prophets Haggai and Zechariah who also joined in building with them. A report was made to King Darius about this in a letter. In the letter, the king was asked to search if it was true that King Cyrus commanded the project. The truth was found, Ezra6:3. The king then sent a reply to Tattenai the governor who wrote the letter to him;
Ezra 6:7 “Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.”
Not only did he take decision based on what was discovered from the archives, the king placed a curse as a decree on any opposition to the project;
Ezra 6:11-12 “Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.”
It was the greatest mistake for the governor to refer the king to the archives. But since the rebuilding was by prophetic instructions, every creation must work along with it;
Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
The lesson we ought to learn from this is that faithfulness to God’s course would stir up serious opposition which could take any course. However, in the face of oppositions, hold your peace and wait for God to speak;
Isaiah 30:15 “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.”
There is great profit in waiting on the Lord; it is part of the old path for us to tread in order to overcome;
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Ezra7-10. Keep the fire burning and alive.
Join us for Begin-The-Month-With-Jesus on Sunday, June 30, 2013 on phone at 11:59pm. Call +1-712-432-3100, conference code 851608. You must unlock the heaven over the month of July.
Exodus 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Pastor Supo Abayode
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries