The flesh, the devil, and the world hindered the rebuilding of the Temple, but God overruled (Ezra 6:1-15). Joyously, the Passover was celebrated (6:22)! Then came Ezra, a scribe and priest (7:6). Ezra was well-favored. Learn why (7:10).
The rebuilding of the Temple had been left unfinished for many years, but once the Word and authority of God were recognized, they began to build the House of God . . . and with them were the prophets of God helping them (Ezra 5:2). What caused this revival? Their circumstances had not changed, and they faced the same intense opposition and determination by the enemy to cause the work to cease. But this time, they were strengthened by the power of the Word of God, and the enemy could not cause them to cease (comp. 4:4-5,23 and 5:3-5).
The elders . . . builded, and they prospered (overcame the opposition of the enemy) through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah . . . And they builded, and finished it (the Temple), according to the Commandment of the God of Israel (6:14).
The work of God can be sustained and strengthened only through obedience to His Word — the foundation of our Christian lives — the one power that Satan cannot overcome.
Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments (7:10). He made a thorough investigation in the right place — the Holy Scriptures. Ezra decided to not only read the Law of the Lord, but also to do it. This divine order still rests upon the people of God today — not only to read but to accept and obey the Truth. Then, if any man will do His (the Lord's) will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God (John 7:17).
Gospel Truth becomes our strength only as we receive it into our hearts by faith and give practical expression to it. To illustrate, if we have an untimely death in our family, do we blame God or do we believe His Word that states: All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28)? Whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (James 1:25).
Due to neglect and consequent disobedience of the Word of God, many Christians make little or no spiritual progress. Desire the sincere milk of the Word (the plain and simple truth of the Bible), that ye may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:2).
Thought for Today:
Obedience is charateristic of faith.
Through the Feast of Unleavened (yeast-free) Bread (Ezra 6:22). Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35), and He was without sin (Heb. 4:15). Leaven is symbolic of sin.
6:1 house of the rolls building where records were kept on scrolls; 6:4 king's house royal treasury; 6:15 Adar compares with February and March; 7:21 the river euphrates.
Pray for Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD) • Country: Italy (58 million) in southern Europe • Major languages: Italian and German • Religious freedom • 81% Roman Catholic; .4% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to the Lord as incense before God (Rev. 8:3-4).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: John 15:12