God bless you. It’s Pastor Brian McDaniel from the Haiti Bible Training Center. Today, I want to just encourage you. We’re going to look at some stuff in the book of Ezra. I love this because this text really encourages and shows us practically how we can finish what God has put upon our heart.
Listen, in the Book of Chronicles, it said that when Solomon finished the temple that the glory of the Lord filled the temple. It says, take heed to the ministry that you’ve received from the Lord, that you complete it amen. The only way you’re going to hear the words, “well done, good and faithful servant enter into the joy of the Lord” is if you heard what you were supposed to do and you did it.
So let’s take a look. There’s an awesome text here in the book of Ezra. Now in Ezra what had happened was that this is after the children of Israel had gone into captivity for 70 years. Ezra is the book that explains to us when the people went back to rebuild the temple. In Ezra one, it says that there was 42,360 Jews that left Babylon to go rebuild the temple. This is a monumental task. This was the most important mission mission trip that they could have ever had. You know, this temple was everything for the Jewish religion. That’s the place where the high priests would go in once a year and make atonement for their sins.
So these 42,360 Jews head off back to Jerusalem. They have everything that they need. They have all the resources and all the manpower. They start heading back and they get to Jerusalem and something happened to them. It’s the same thing that can happen to us. What happened?
It says when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity were building the Temple of the Lord they came to Zerubbabel and they said, “let us build with you”. So Zerubbabel was the leader of this mission. He was the guy leading the 42,360. And when the adversaries heard that they were rebuilding, they came and they said, “let us build with you”.
Zerubbabel passed the first test. He said, no way. You have nothing to do with building our temple for our God. That was great. Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. And then they troubled them in building. They hired counselors against them to frustrate their purposes. This is amazing to me. The adversaries, the enemy, tried to discourage them not to do it.
Maybe you’ve tried to do something or God has put something on your heart and people have been trying to discourage you not to do it. Hey, listen, it’s better to obey the Lord then to fear man. You do what the Lord tells you to do. It says then they troubled them in building and they hired counselors against them to frustrate their purposes. This is amazing to me. They actually hired people to frustrate them in building. And, you know, this didn’t work. They kept going. They kept building and everything worked.
But then the enemies of God launched a final attack. And this one was effective. They wrote a letter back to the Persian king, Artaxerxes, falsely accusing them. And this was an effective attack. OK. It looks like the work stopped for about 15 years. They came back these 42,360 with everything they needed to rebuild the temple. And they ran into this major spiritual warfare and it was effective. The work stopped for about 15 years.
But this is what I want to focus on. How do we pick up and get going again? I love it because it says in Chapter 5 of Ezra, then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel. They start to began to build a house and they completed it. This is amazing to me. Here are these people totally discouraged. Zechariah 1 tells us that they were so discouraged after 15 years that nobody could even lift their head. Can you imagine going out to do this amazing task for the nation and being stopped for 15 years?
It said they were so discouraged that nobody could even lift their head. But, you know, this is the solution. This is the application. This is why we constantly need to read the Bible, because when the prophet Haggai and Zachariah came, it says they rose up and began to build the house of God, which is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them helping them. This is amazing to me. Whatever Haggai said, whatever Zachariah said, they decided to pick it up and they started to build again.
Listen, we know exactly what Haggai said and exactly what Zachariah said because we have those two books. So I want to encourage you be in the word, read the word of God, because the word of God is the only thing that is going to help you to pick up and to continue to move forward. Once they started the prophesy, in a short time, they finished the temple. And you know what? I love it because it says there that the glory of this former temple will be more glorious than the previous temple, because that was the temple that Jesus Christ went into when he had his earthly mission.
Hey, I love you guys. Read your word. This is all found in Ezra, Chapter 4 and 5. But listen. It doesn’t matter how many times a Christian goes down, he can can go down seven times, it says in Proverbs and get right back up. You pick up your bed and you start walking. Not only walk, you run your race with endurance. The race that is set before you. Be encouraged, read your Bible and pray every single day. God bless you!