Highlights In Today's Reading:
Ignoring their adversaries, work continues. Then, victory for the remnant as searchers uncovers King Cyrus' decree (6:1-12)! The Temple is completed and dedicated and the Passover restored.
The building of the Temple had been left unfinished for many years, but once God's Word and authority were recognized, they began to build the House of God . . . and with them were the prophets of God helping them (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 the enemy could not cause them to cease (compare 4:4-5,23 and 5:3-5).
The elders . . . builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah. . . . And they builded and finished it, according to the Commandment of the God of Israel. . . . And this House (Temple) was finished (6:14-15). The key to their overcoming opposition to complete the Temple was through the prophesying of Haggai . . . and Zechariah (6:14).
God's work can only be sustained and strengthened through obedience to His Word, which is the foundation of our Christian lives — one power that Satan cannot overcome. God's Word is the source of strength by which His children cannot be defeated.
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 — in the Holy Scriptures. Ezra decided not only to read the Law of the Lord, but also to do it. This obligation and divine order still rests upon God's people today — not only to read but to accept and obey the Truth, and then, if any man will do His (God'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 in our lives. To illustrate, if we have an untimely death in our family, do we blame God or 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 (Romans 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).
Many of God's people make little or no spiritual progress year after year, perhaps because they neglect, and consequently disobey, the Word of God! Desire the sincere milk of the Word (the plain and simple truth of the Bible), that ye may grow thereby (I Peter 2:2).
Thought for Today:
Opposition will surely come if we attempt to obey God's Word, but remember what he had promised, he was able also to perform (Romans 4:21).
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 (Hebrews 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 Feb/Mar; 7:21 the river => Euphrates.
Pray for Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Karen Kortenhoven • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD) and Rep. Solomon Ortiz (TX) • Country: Serbia and Montenegro (11 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Religious conflict • 41% Serbian/Montenegrin/Macedonian Orthodox; 33% Catholic; 11% Muslim; 1% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to the Lord with earnestness night and day (I Thessalonians 3:10).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:5