Read Ezra 6
Darius' decree to complete the Temple; dedication of the Temple; Passover restored; Ezra goes to Jerusalem; Artaxerxes' favorable commission to Ezra.
And this House was finished on the third day of the month Adar (Ezra 6:15).
The building of the Temple had been at a standstill for fourteen years, but once God's Word and authority were recognized, they began to build the House of God (5:2). What caused this revival? Their circumstances had not changed, and there was 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, and they could not cause them to cease (compare 4:4-5,23 with 5:3-5).
The key to overcoming their opposition and gaining power to complete the Temple is clearly stated: And they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah (6:14). God's work can only be sustained and strengthened through obedience to God's Word, which is the foundation of our Christian life — one power that Satan cannot overcome.
Satan never gives up trying to defeat us. One of his greatest tactics is to distract us from our daily reading of the Word of God. He will use any means available at his disposal to accomplish his goal. Remember, you are fighting a spiritual battle against a skilled enemy. But the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (II Cor. 10:4). The Word of God is the ultimate asset in this fight. Relying on His Word as the source of strength, the child of God cannot be defeated.
Many of God's people go year after year, making little or no spiritual progress, mainly because they neglected and consequently disobeyed the Word of God! If we intend to grow spiritually, it is a necessity that we daily read and study the Word of God. There are those who have attended church for many, many years, but unfortunately, that is the only place some open a Bible. For some, spiritual maturity is measured in years of service. However, it can also be measured by how much we have equipped ourselves with our greatest weapon, the Word of God. For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
Desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:2).
Thought for Today:
Obedience is characteristic of a life 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 Government Official: Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (MD) • Country: Ghana (19 million) in western Africa • Major languages: English and African languages • The government permits freedom to churches and missionaries that do not get involved in politics • 31% belief in spirits and witches; 22% Protestant; 17% Muslim; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray, remembering that there is no one like God (II Kings 19:14-15,19).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 1:1-2