Ezra 6, Trust God To Work While You Work To Obey
1. Trust God To Work Out What You Cannot (v1-7)
2. Trust God To Provide For His Work (v8-10)
3. Trust God To Protect You While You Work (v11-13)
4. Trust God To Complete The Work (v14-18)
5. Take Joy In The Work Of God (v19-22)
Ezra 6, Trust God To Work While You Work To Obey
Ezra 6, Trust God To Work While You Work To Obey
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Ezra Chapter 5 verses 1 through 5.
It says this.
Then the Prophet, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo.
Prophets prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them.
So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Joshua the son of Jehozadak rose up, and began to build the House of God, which is in Jerusalem and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.
At the same time, tattenai, the governor of the region beyond the river and Shether Bosnia of their and their companions, came to them and spoke thus to them.
Who has commanded you to build this temple and finish this wall?
Then accordingly we told them the names of the men who were constructing this building.
But the eye of their God was upon the.
Elders of the Jews.
So that they could not make them cease till the report could go to Darius.
Then a written answer was returned concerning.
Here in Ezra Chapter five and six we see a portion of the rebuilding of the temple that takes place here.
Now as we look at and again, today's reading in the Bible in three years is Ezra Chapter 6, and that's where we'll primarily focus.
But chapter five really sets the stage.
It's the beginning.
Of the work, there was a time where the work on the building of the temple had stopped.
And then the Lord through the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah called them to resume that labor, and begin to build the temple again.
But as they do, they're halted once again, or there's an attempt to halt the work by the surrounding authorities, the governors, and they try to get them to stop.
And try to get them to, you know, give a a reason for why or who has given them authority to do this work and so now they're going to go to their superiors.
Go out to Darius who is the king of Persia at this time.
And find out whether or not this is something that should be going on now as we look at Ezra Chapter 6 this evening, I've titled The Message Trust God to work while you work to obey trust, God to work while you work to obey.
And as we think about.
The work of God that is happening here.
The rebuilding of the temple.
It is the work of God.
It is a work that God commanded them to do and instructed them in.
He called them to it, and yet they experience opposition in the midst of the face of that as they try to do God's will as they try to execute the commands that God had given to them.
It doesn't just go smoothly, they have some opposition, some resistance to that work, and so.
We find them.
Proceeding on, they continue on.
They press forward in that work, and and all the while trusting God, and God comes through, and and does some amazing things as a result of this contention that happens here in Ezra Chapter 5.
Now, because we're just.
This is our first chance in the Book of Ezra 2.
Kind of go through the teaching together.
I want to take a moment and look at the timeline with you and just get us up to speed on.
Where we're at.
As far as the the history of the nation of Judah and Israel, and so, here's a quick look.
At the timeline.
We're not going to go through all the details, but it goes back starts all the way through the life and Ministry of Joshua and his leadership when he passed off the scene, there was 400 years of the time of the judges and and the rebellions against God. But then the calling out to God under times of oppression and God would deliver them.
And that led into the times of the monarchy, where Saul is proclaimed to be king.
He reigns for about 40 years, and then he hands off the throne to David, who then hands off the throne to Solomon after Solomon, the Nation of Israel.
Deal reached the height of its glory, the height of its wealth and impact under Solomon and David's reign.
But after Solomon, that Kingdom was split into the northern Kingdom, kept the name Israel they carried on following a a different, you know monarchy line, but they never had a good king.
They never went back.
To worshipping God in the way that he had called them to, and.
So as God calls them to repentance and they refuse, he finally brings the nation of Assyria against them, and Assyria conquers Israel and carries them into captivity.
We've been focused on the nation of Judah over the past month or so.
Reading through first and second chronicles, which just focuses on that Southern Kingdom.
And so we've seen their kings.
And they had a lot of bad kings, some good kings that would bring about.
Rival, but the people would continue to persist in rebellion until finally the Lord brought Babylon against Judah to conquered Judah and and you might remember, the prophecy was that there would be 70 years of captivity.
We'll get to that also as we work our way in the coming year to the the prophets.
That the 70 years of captivity would take place that Babylon would lead the people out of Israel out of Judah out of Jerusalem.
They would be populated in Babylon for a time and then later on they would be allowed to come back and so in the book of Ezra.
We're seeing that return.
It's after that 70 year captivity or kind of like at the tail end of it.
And so they come back to Jerusalem.
They come back to Israel.
They begin to rebuild the temple, and the time of Ezra and Nehemiah go hand in hand as well as Esther.
Kind of fits in there.
As well, and so just to kind of help.
Clearly identify the things that are happening here.
There's two separate periods where the nation of Israel, the people of Israel were returning to Jerusalem from Babylon.
The first period is recorded in these first few chapters for chapters, one through six of Ezra.
And and that is around 5:36 to 5:16 BC, the time where the Jews go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.
And then there's a separate period of return to Israel, and that is led by Nehemiah, where Jews go back to Jerusalem to rebuild, not the temple.
The temple is already built.
Previously, but to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and reestablished.
Rusalem as its own city, and that's going to be what we'll be looking at as we head into the book of Nehemiah.
And so there's kind of two separate returns that are going on here.
Two different periods of of things happening, and then the Book of Esther really happens right in between these two after the Jews have gone back and are rebuilding the temple.
But before the walls are established and Jerusalem is established in that way, that's when in the timeline that's when Esther takes place.
And so we can see here this return that takes place.
It's the fulfillment of many prophecies that God had spoken.
Both the rebuilding of the temple and the.
Rebuilding of the.
Walls really fulfill the the work that God had said would take place.
Now I want to give you one last timeline.
It's a little bit different and it's titled wrong.
I apologize about that.
So it says first and second Samuel timeline.
It's not, it's.
The return to Israel timeline, but here it kind of outlines. It's really about 100 years of time during this return to Jerusalem to Israel from Babylon. And so it begins in 536 BC and about 50,000 people return from Babylon. They go back, they rebuild the.
Walter, they begin work on the temple and it stops for a while.
That's chapters 3 and four that we read over the past few.
Phase, but then in 520 BC, the work on the temple is renewed by Zechariah and Haggai, and that's what we see here in chapter five and six that these prophets come on the scene.
And later on, we'll get to the book of Haggai, the Book of Zechariah those.
Those are the books of the guys that are being referred to here.
And that always excites me seeing the correlation of these things and and how they come together and how the Lord, you know, put them there at the right time with the message that they needed to hear, and so they renewed the work on the temple. And it was completed a few years later, around 516 BC.
Five 478 that's when Esther becomes Queen, so again, it's kind of in between the rebuilding of the temple and the rebuilding of Jerusalem itself.
Then in 457, Ezra leads a group to Jerusalem. We'll get to that in Chapter 7, so he writes and records chapters one through 6, but he's not really part of that. He comes later soon.
Just a little bit before Nehemiah shows up on the scene, and so Ezra and Nehemiah are in Jerusalem around the same time, Neser gets a little bit earlier and are both involved in this renewing work that God is doing in jerusa.
Well, Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem.
He rebuilds the wall.
He goes back to Babylon for a while and then comes back and continues to govern over the region.
And so that's what we're going to be covering here in the book of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther over the next couple of weeks. And so we're in the timeline, or right around 520 BC.
To 516 BC during that final phase of the rebuilding of the temple that was happening under the watchful eye and the encouragement of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, and again you see them mentioned there in Chapter 5 verse.
Now the authorities really wanted to make them stop as they get to building taps and I the governor says hey, I don't.
This seems suspicious.
I don't think you should be doing this.
But he's not able to make them stop and verse five stands out and is interesting because it says here in Azure Chapter 5 verse 5.
But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not make them cease, till the report could go to Darius.
Then a written answer was returned concerning.
Faster now if he had gotten his way, would have put a stop to the work.
Don't do anything else until we can establish whether or not you have the right to do this and whether or not this should be happening.
But the Jews resisted that authority.
The Jews resisted that idea, and that desire of the governor.
No, God told us we have the Prophet, Haggai and Zechariah here telling us that God's telling us and so.
They could not.
They were persistent to do what they knew God had called them to do, and so they continued the work they, you know, gave the information and submitted to the authority, and so that's going to go to Darius and there's.
A whole letter that's recorded there in Chapter 5, but then we get the response in Chapter 6, and so that brings us to our passage for today.
And looking at the response of Darius and all that God did, and giving us the less.
Then to trust God to work while you work to obey.
So we're going to look at verses one through 7 here of Ezra Chapter 6 for point number one, and that is trust God to work out what you cannot.
Trust God to work out what you cannot check out verse one.
Then King Darius issued a decree and a search was made in the archives where the treasures were stored in Babylon.
Here's the Jewish people, really, not in a good place as far as they were pretty vulnerable.
As I mentioned in the timeline, their walls had not been rebuilt in Jerusalem, so they were unprotected.
They were kind of, you know, a little bit of a risk because they were a small people who had returned from Babylon.
And so they were.
Kind of foreigners, even though it was their land they've been out of the land, and so there's been all these other people established around them.
And as they're trying to do this work of the rebuilding of the temple, and they encounter this opposite.
And they they're they're faced with some difficulties, some dilemmas and some challenges, and they really do have to trust God because they're taking a risk.
By continuing to work again, it said that they were not able to make the work seats.
They couldn't stop the Jewish people from.
Working on the temple, they were persistent and so they were going to carry on in spite of the governor's wishes and.
At at the same time they submitted to, well, here's our information.
Here's, you know what's happening and here's why we're doing this and and go ahead and send that to Darius, and you know, send that to the to the king and find out what he has to say about it.
They they were participating in that, but at the same time they were saying, but we have.
To do what?
God called us to do.
Now we get the response.
Well before we get the response, King Darius in verse one issues a decree.
He gets their.
Letter, like the governor's letter in Chapter 5 and says I don't know anything about this, so let's find out and so he commands his scholars, his scribes, his historians go search the archives.
Was there really command that was given for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple?
Did that actually happen?
Now this is going to take some time right to go to get this message from Jerusalem to Babylon, and actually, we'll see in a moment it was actually found not in Babylon, but somewhere else.
The the record of this was found, and so there's this length of time that's happening, this time to to travel, this time to search, and then the time for the.
Word to come back.
There's there's probably a couple of months taking place here and meanwhile.
The Jewish people are continuing to do the work that God had set before them.
The work that God had called them to do, by Haggai and Zechariah and they're continuing to rebuild the temple.
And so they they get a couple months of of additional work instead of stopping and waiting for the answer, they continue on, they press on.
They can't do anything.
About what Darius is going to say, they.
No ability to shape that.
To change that.
They don't know what's going to happen.
A similar thing happened, and previously in Esther, and the word came back from the king and it wasn't favorable and they were forced to stop, right?
But this time they're just they're pressing on until the Lord just comes through for them.
And so verse 2.
And and ATAC Methone in the palace that is in the province of media a scroll was found, and in it a record was written, thus verse 3.
In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a decree concerning the House of God at Jerusalem.
Let the House be rebuilt.
The police, where they offered sacrifices and let the foundations of it be firmly laid, its height 60 cubits, its width, 60 cubits.
With three rows of heavy stones and one row of Newton.
Here, let the expenses be paid from the Kings treasury.
Also let the gold and silver articles of the House of God which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple, which is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, let him be restored and taken back to the temple which is in Jerusalem each to its place, and deposit them in the house.
The Jews claim Cyrus the king of Persia gave us this authority.
He told us to go back to Jerusalem and build the house, and it's an incredible account.
They're telling the truth when they tell the.
The governor that.
They're telling the truth.
This is really.
Something that happened, Cyrus.
The Middle Persian king in the first year of his reign.
Opens the doors while the Jews are in captivity in Babylon.
He says, alright.
Proclamation throughout the empire.
If you are Jewish.
God told me the house the temple back in Jerusalem needs to be rebuilt.
If you want to go go go build the house.
That's something that God has told me needs to take place.
Cyrus really did give this command a heathen king who did not know the Lord made this command. It was prophesied about. Isaiah prophesied about this in Isaiah Chapter 44 and 45, and by name Cyrus is mentioned.
He says that God.
Says of Cyrus, he is my shepherd and he shall perform all my pleasure, saying to Jerusalem.
You shall be built and to the temple your foundation shall be.
We lead and what's interesting about this, of course, is that Isaiah prophesied around 700 BC the the late or the early 7 hundreds, which is because BC counts backwards.
It's the late seven, hundreds in some way, but anyways, 740 to 700 BC is when Isaiah ministered and prophesied Cyrus became.
King around 539 BC. He well conquered Babylon around that time and began to reign in that time, and so 539, about 200 years after Isaiah Cyrus comes on the scene.
And we don't have this recorded in the scripture, but Jewish tradition records that Daniel, who is in Babylon at the time that it's conquered.
When Cyrus rides into the city with, you know his victorious.
What's that called parade that Daniel meets King Cyrus shows him the scroll of Isaiah and says.
Look, God has spoken of you long before you ever came and he has called you to rebuild the temple and it might have been one last thing that Daniel did in impacting the nations for the Lord.
And so Cyrus.
However, he came to know this.
If that tradition is true or not.
He gave this command and and here you can understand that this was something that God alone could.
You he he worked this out so that Cyrus would be prophesied about hundreds of years before his reign, and then that he would give this command and give the people the opportunity, the freedom to return and rebuild the temple.
So here's Darius his response.
He says look, I looked into it.
Cyrus really did command this.
It really did happen now versus 6 now.
Therefore attach tonight, Governor of region beyond the river and Shethar, Bosnia and your companions, the Persians who are beyond the river.
Keep yourselves far from there.
Let the work of this House alone.
But the governor.
Of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this House of God.
On its site.
So first couple verses.
We see Cyrus command that happened earlier, but again the temple work had stopped and there was a elapse a time gap that happened and so now when it picked up again they they search it out again and Darius comes back and says it really did happen.
Cyrus really did give that.
Command and so now Darius really reinstitutes that command and says OK.
Keep yourself far from don't bug them, don't harass them, don't interrupt or interfere.
Let let the work of the House of God.
Alone and let them.
Do what it is that they are set about.
To do now?
It's interesting to compare Ezra Chapter 4 to Ezra Chapter 6 because again, a similar thing happened.
The Jews started to build the temple.
There was some opposition from their surrounding people.
And they sent back word to the king, the person who was in charge over the whole empire at that time.
And the word came back from the king, hey, that sounds dangerous.
Put a stop to that work and they forced them to stop building the temple at that time.
Back at the end.
Of Ezra Chapter 4, and so the first time very similar thing happened and the opposition was successful in putting a stop to the work.
This time, same tactic.
Hey what are you guys doing?
Who gives you the right to do this?
We get better write to the king and you know tell them that that this might not be a good idea.
And make sure that it's OK.
This time though, even though it's the same tactic, it's not successful, and there's a different outcome and.
It's interesting to consider that because.
There was a time where it was appropriate for the Jewish people to not be building the temple.
They returned to Jerusalem to build the temple.
And God had called them back to Jerusalem to build the temple.
Through Cyrus, he called the people out.
He commanded them to go and and so there was this return and and yet there was a stop to the work that.
As I read through the passages seems appropriate, the by force of arms in Chapter 4 at in verse 23 and 24, they made them cease.
They made them stop the work and and so there's this period where it's right for the Jewish people there in Jerusalem to not be building the temple. But then you go from verse 23 and 24.
Of Ezra Chapter 4 to verse one of Chapter 5 and then the Prophet Haggai and Zechariah.
Come on the scene.
And this time, as these prophets give the word, and say God has called you to build the house.
Now it's like a question of timing.
Now it's the right time.
There was a season where it was appropriate for them to not be building the House.
But now this season that they're in is the time to build the house.
And so now this time, when the word comes back from the king, it's in support of them and in support.
Of the work.
It reminds me of proverbs chapter 21 verse one.
The King's heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water. He turns it wherever he wishes. And and here's where I get this point. Trust God to work.
Out what you cannot.
In both cases, the Jewish people were in a situation where they didn't have a lot of influence or power or opportunity.
They were under subjection to the authority to the.
King, they had governors in opposition to what God had called them to what they wanted to do, and and there was a time where God allowed for the the putting the stop to the work that was going on and, and they had to go along with.
It it was.
The appropriate thing to do at the time, but but this time.
The Lord has the clear direction through the prophets.
You're not to give up.
You're not to quit.
You're not to, you know, cease, and just focus on your own stuff.
You are to get back to work and and so as they engage in the work of the Lord in the timing of the Lord under the direction of the Lord, that the King's heart is in the hand of the Lord and and really Darius reply could have gone.
Either way, but because the Lord is involved and he's the one working out his purposes and plans.
The word comes back.
It is God time and they are able to continue the work and even further they're going to get some great support from King Darius and the authorities as a result.
But so there was a.
Time that they could not.
Do the work.
But this was the time where they could not make them cease doing the.
Work there was a time where they couldn't do.
They wanted to do the work they wanted to build the house, but they couldn't.
And then now was a different time.
Now in this moment in their their walk with the Lord and their their call from God and in the will of God.
For them this was a moment where even if they were going to face similar opposition.
They weren't to just give up, they weren't to just hold back, but they were to press on and so the opposition could not make them cease because they had this direct word.
From the Lord, I would encourage you as you're reading through the book of.
Ezra to spend.
Some time also in the book of Haggai.
It's only two chapters, so you can handle it.
It's a little extra reading, but the Prophet Haggai is one of the.
Prophets, who's you know?
At this moment, encouraging them and what God is saying in Haggai chapter one verse.
Eight God says to them, go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple that I make, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified, says the Lord.
God says now is the time rise up.
Go get wood and build the temple.
And so they had this clear will of God clear word from God, and they knew we can't stop, even if this opposition wants us to stop, we can't stop, because clearly we know that God wants us to do this.
And it's interesting to consider that I think it's worth meditating on Ezra Chapter 4, in contrast to Ezra Chapter five and six that that there is the appropriate time of not building.
But then there's also a similar time as far as the opposition, and you know similar circumstances, but you have.
The word of the Lord.
Now is the time and so you need to persist and carry on and trust God to work out those things that are out of your control.
They they couldn't do anything about what Darius was going to say.
All they could do was obey the the word that God had given to them right then, and the instruction that God had given to them was to build trust God to work out what you cannot.
You know there's a lot of things that we wish were different in the world around us, and in the course of our life, there's going to be things that we face.
That we run into and we wish we could change things.
There's going to be things that are out of our control and when it's out of our control, we need to learn to trust.
That God is still in control and and not be so worked up when it's not something that we can change or shape.
I I was.
Thinking about it this way, if I want God will.
Then I really don't have to be worked up when my will doesn't come to pass.
If I have some goals or dreams or desires.
But at the same time I'm saying, Lord, not my will be done, but your will be done then.
Then when my will doesn't come to pass, you know there's a tendency when my will doesn't come to pass, that it's bothersome, and it's irritating.
And it's troubling and difficult to know how sad you know.
I don't get to have the career that I was hoping for or I didn't get that new car that I wanted.
Or or there's this other you know path that that I was hoping to go down, but the doors are closed and all it's such a bummer.
These doors are closed.
At the same time, recognizing that God is on the throne and and that God is able to work out the things that I'm not able to work out.
When when those doors are closed?
But I really need to learn to not be so troubled by that.
But to trust God.
And if I really want God's will, then it's OK if the doors are closed because.
It's in God's hands, and if that's not God's will, then I don't want it anyways, even if it.
Was what I.
Dreamed about my whole life that that there is something to be said for allowing God to shape the way that we go and and the things that are set before us.
Now that doesn't mean we also that we don't try anything.
We don't do anything.
And we just sit there on the couch.
'cause, well, you know, if God wants open the doors, he will.
There's a combination and, and again, This is why the title is trust.
God to work while you work to obey that that there is the the work and and our participation in the will of God and in the play.
Son of God, but at the same time even some of our dreams for the Lord, and the things that we want to do for God.
Sometimes there's an appropriate.
Season of not going down that path.
Not not doing that work that we want to do for the Lord.
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, similar to Paul when he wanted to go into Asia Minor to preach the gospel there and the Holy Spirit said no.
And and Paul had to trust God to work out where he couldn't work.
Well, I I don't have control over that.
They would say no, and so there's something else God has in store, and so then later on God brings him.
But but it wasn't for that season and so the timing of God was worked out as Paul walked with the Lord and and similar with these guys that that.
As the Lord is at work, he worked out the timing.
He worked out the heart of the king, shaped it, molded it and accomplished things that they couldn't do on there.
Grown well, let's keep going down versus 8 through 10 point number two.
Trust God to provide for his work.
Trust God to provide for his work versus 8 through 10 says this.
Moreover, I issue a decree as to what you shall do for the elders of these Jews, for the building of the this House of God, let the cost to be paid.
Hence, from taxes on the region beyond the river, this is to be given immediately to these men so that they are not hindered and whatever they need young bulls, Rams, lambs for the birds offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, oil according to the requests of the priests or in Jerusalem, let it be given to them day by day without.
That they may offer sacrifices of sweet aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the King and his son.
As Darius writes back and gives instruction to the governors over the the region.
He says not only should you just let this happen, but you really need to support this.
You really need to help provide for this and and really not just stop, you know hindering them.
But help them in spirit and anything.
That they ask.
For spur them.
Along they need lambs.
Give them lands.
They need Rams.
Give them Rams they they need wheat or salts then.
Make sure without fail, day by day.
That you give that.
And and in fact, you know the taxes that we collect.
From that region.
Just take it out of that.
Just I'll take a.
A pay cut, you know, King Darius says I I won't collect those taxes, just take it out of the taxes that would come back.
Just use those resources to provide everything that they need so that they have.
All that they need as they're building this house.
Here we see God provide for his work in this incredible way and and and what an amazing way that God works, and that what these guys started with as opposition to and seeking to, you know, shut down the work of God.
Now the work of God is going to be even stronger and fortified and provided for.
In finance, by the governors themselves, and they collect the taxes that they are collecting.
There's a old saying for us Calvary Chapel Lights where God guides he provides.
When we are in the will of God, when we are where God wants us to be, we can rest in this reality that he will provide and and so really the key for us is to be hearing from God and the Jewish people at this time had the Prophet, Haggai, and Zechariah and so they had this clear.
Understanding of what God had called them too.
We may have that kind of experience where God speaks to us and raises up people around us personally or corporately to give us clear direction and speak to us, or it might be personal, just in our own relationship with the Lord that God gives us some some clear direction and steps to take, but that's the point.
Is to be really seeking the Lord for his will, and if I want what he wants and if my will is to be submitted to God's will, then then I can trust as I go that he will provide. He will bring to pass and accomplish the things that he wants to accomplish. Where God guides he.
Some of us
Younger people said it a little bit differently back when I was in youth group days, we would say when it's God's will he flips the bill right that when God wants to do it, he has the resources he there. There is no lack of money that is concerning God, God saying man, I really.
I wish you know they could go to college, but I just, you know, I can't afford to send this kid to college and so I don't know what they're going to do.
You know that's going to have to be a a lesser will, you know, a lesser path that that's not really good or God.
God is never lacking in that he is always going to provide in the things that he is guiding in.
And he is leading in.
And so the trick for us is to.
Understand what is it that God is saying?
What is it that God wants and and to be careful that the things that we want the most that we don't just assume that's what God wants and then say what God guides he provides because we need to make sure that we've heard from the word that that God is guiding in that and not just wishful thinking that we want God to provide.
We want God to be guiding.
In this we want.
God to bless the path that we've chosen.
And so here the Jewish people are walking in the will of God.
They hear from God, they have God and His will set before them.
And so as they walked in, that, and as they persist in obedience to that God, begins to provide for this work.
Now again, Haggai really gives some interesting insight.
Into the background to this, because during the time where the temple building ceased when they were forced to stop, and this time where they started to build.
Again, the Jewish people got very comfortable in their homes.
They started fixing up their homes, making them nice.
They were, like, you know, tricking them out and their their homes were all fancy and spending all this time and and it.
It seems that even before Haggai and Zachariah were on the scene that God was calling them back to the building of the temple, but they were so comfortable in their life.
They were so comfortable in in the luxuries that they were enjoying and they're just like, oh wow, this is just this is my dream home now and and I have my dream home and so that's great and and and God had to like shake them up and say listen you need to get back to work on the House.
It it was time for a while to stop.
That worked, but now it's time to start that work again.
The Prophet Haggai is one of the ways that God speaks to them.
In Haggai Chapter 2 verse 15.
The Lord says, carefully consider from this day forward from before the stone was laid.
The stone in the temple of the Lord.
Since those days when one came to a heap of 20 ephas, there were but ten.
When one came to the wine VAT to draw out.
50 baths from the press.
There were but twenty I struck you with blight and mildew inhale and all the levers of your hands.
Yet you did not turn to me, says the Lord.
So there was a short while where they were pretty comfortable and they they had their houses all taken care of and and they thought man things are just going great.
But they would work hard in the field and it would seem like they're going to have a great harvest.
And then when it finally came time.
To harvest it was like.
We're like missing 50% and when it came time to, you know, reap the reward of the the the vineyard they would come.
And it was like half of what they were expecting from the the VATS of wine.
Like why is all of this just dwindling away?
How is all?
Of this disappearing.
But then the Prophet Haggai goes on to say, consider now from this day forward, the day when you got back in the will of God, the day when you got back to the work that God has for you, and you listened to him and started to do what he said.
From this day on.
That won't take place any longer.
The Prophet Haggai told them.
You're going to find when you go to your barn there's more you thought there was only going to be 10% left, but actually there's going to be more left. There's going to be miraculous provision.
The Prophet Haggai was telling them about.
Now combine that with this decree from Darius.
How did that miraculous provision take place?
Perhaps the Lord was overlapping these things, and saying, the reason why there's going to be this abundance?
I mean, Jesus fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish, right? So he can multiply the wheat in your barn while you're not looking right? That can happen.
Seems reasonable to understand what the Lord did.
Was he provided for them?
He worked this out so that they had more provision than they expected because they had provision that was given that they weren't expecting through the governor that was commanded by King Darius.
Commentator FB Meyer says when we're living upon God plan and need material resources for his work, he will see that they are forthcoming from the most unlikely sources, God is able to work out again. The question here is am I living in God's plan?
Is it God work that I'm involved with?
Is it God work that I'm accomplishing at home in the workplace at church, is it?
Is it God will and God purposes that I'm pursuing, and when it is that I can trust God to provide for his work as he guides, he will provide.
And it will be perhaps from unlikely sources.
Perhaps it will be miraculous provision in the barn while I'm not looking but but God is evil through a variety of means and means that we don't have any idea about to provide for his work and to help us enable us to do what it is he's called us to do.
Well, the third thing is we continue on verses 11 through 13.
Trust God to protect you while you work.
Verse 11 says.
Also, I issue a decree that whoever alters this edict.
Let the timber be pulled from his house and directed and let him be hanged on it and let his house be made or refuse heap because of this, and may the God who causes his name to dwell there, destroy any king or people who put their hand to alter it or to destroy this House of God which is in Jerusalem.
I Darius issue a decree, let it be done.
Diligently then Tots and I governor of the region beyond the river Shether, Bosnia and their companions diligently did, according to what king Darius had sent.
Wrote back said let them be.
Don't interrupt, don't interfere, let them build the temple.
Not only that provide for it.
Take from the taxes.
Give them everything that they need.
Make sure that without fail every day they have every resource that they need and then now he goes on to say it.
Step further and don't alter this.
If anybody tries to change this order.
If anybody tries to alter this decree or or modify it in any way, let him be put to death like this is a serious thing and and so here Darius is establishing protection for the Jewish people, that this is the law that is to stay.
And that they are to be able to be continuing the work there to be provided for in the work.
And Darius wants to make sure that nothing else.
Nobody else tries to interfere or manipulate or accomplish some type of thing against the Jewish people in the rebuilding of this temple.
And God is able to do that.
He's able as we walk.
With him as we walk in his will, he's able to protect us.
He's able to provide that buffer that covering and again compare it to a few chapters earlier.
He didn't provide that, so the fact that he's able to provide it doesn't mean that he always does, sometimes by force of arms, you're going to be.
Made to cease.
The thing that you were doing for.
The Lord, but.
In those times when you're forced to stop when you don't want to stop, you can still trust God, because if God wanted to, he could.
Protect you while you work.
He could prevent that from happening.
Change that course.
The most important thing is not.
Whether or not this is happening or that it's happening, the most important thing is am I in the will of God, and if I'm in the will of God and the work ceases because it's Forrest, well, the work ceases and that's OK.
But if I'm in the will of God and and now back to work, then God is able to protect me.
And if God wants to shut it down, OK?
Well, God, you have the right.
You could shut it down if you want to shut it down.
If you want to let that happen, I guess that's your prerogative.
You can let that happen, but.
I'm gonna keep working on the things that I know that you've called me too trusting you to work out the protection, the provision and everything that's needed for it.
Moving onto verses 14 through 18, we get point #4 and that is trust God to complete the work, trust God to complete the word. Verse 14 so the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai in the prophet Zechariah the son of Iddo, and they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the.
God of Israel.
And according to the command.
Of Cyrus, Darius and Arctic Xerxes, king of Persia.
Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which is in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
All right, they finished it.
Sounds pretty easy.
They just got back to work.
There was a little.
Bit opposition but.
The King came back and gave him word and said.
Don't hinder them.
Give him everything.
That they need and don't change this order sounds pretty easy.
Now in verse 13 you see the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which is in the sixth year of the reign.
Of king Darius
If you want to dig in a little bit more this week, in addition to looking at the book of Haggai, look at the Book of Zechariah, the Second Prophet who is in the same time encouraging the people.
There was great discouragement and Greek challenges to this work, even though they now had the King's blessing.
There was, there was.
Still a lot of difficulty that they faced.
In Zechariah chapter 4.
Here there's that famous verse, verse 6, not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
And if you've been around a while, you've heard that verse we know.
That verse we.
Quote that verse, but sometimes we forget what that verse is talking about in Zechariah Chapter 4, verse 7, the next verse.
The Lord goes on to say who are you?
Oh, great mountain before Zerubbabel you shall become a plane, and he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, grace to it.
Is a reference to the building piece that was part of the temple.
And this prophecy, not by might not by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord is in direct connection to Chapter 6 in the completion of the building of the temple.
And and and there is this.
Zerubavel, who is the governor who is like leading the work here, who is discouraged in the work.
And he's like I don't know how we're ever going to finish this work.
I don't know how it's going to be done.
There's so much.
Work to do.
There's so much rubble that.
It's been referred to here in verse 7 as a great mountain in Zechariah Chapter 4, there's so much rubble, there's so much.
More to do.
There's this huge mountain.
Ahead of us.
How is this mountain going to be moved?
How is this mountain going to be removed?
How is this work going to be completed?
And God answered to that is not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says.
The Lord of hosts.
And very likely part of that answer, the working of the Holy Spirit was the blessing.
Of King Darius that was moved upon his heart by the Lord to.
Provide for the people.
Protect the people and help the people along in this work.
And you can imagine. So there's so much story to zerubbabel's discouragement and and what happened to him and what he was facing and and how all this unfolded that we don't have recorded here.
But the Lord knew what was going on.
He knew the discouragements.
Were there and the.
The overwhelming mountain that he faced.
God says, look, you can trust me.
I'll complete the.
Work, it's not by your might, and it's not by your intelligence that this is going to happen.
It's going to be a work of my spirit.
Through you guys, the laborers.
But even in this contention in this opposition, the Holy Spirit is going to work out the provision and protection that is needed.
And so the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the Prophet of Zechariah.
They built and finished it.
According to the commandment of God, they're right in the will.
Of God according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, Arctic Xerxes, that the hearts of these kings that God had shaped and moved.
They were right in the will of God and and the authorities were brought in line with God's will and so now this mountain has become a plain the temple.
Because God will complete the work again.
The real issue is that finding out that seeking out that pursuing the will of God on purposes of God and then we can trust God to complete the work.
Verse 16 then the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the rest of the descendants of the captivity celebrated the dedication.
Of this House of God with joy, and they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this House of God. 100 bulls 200 Rams. 400 lands.
And as a sin offering for all Israel 12 male gold goats according to the number of the tribes of Israel, they assigned the priest to their divisions, and the Levite to their divisions over the service of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.
The work was brought to completion. They're able to offer the sacrifices to dedicate the temple to reinstitute the schedule of priest and levite's so that there could be the ongoing service of the temple. They could come to worship God, and so everything worked out according to what God desired.
God completed the work and as they trusted God, he was faithful to do that.
Philippians Chapter 4 or chapter one, verse 6 Paul tells us we can be confident of.
This he who began a good work in US, will complete it until the day.
Of Jesus Christ.
Not by might, nor by power.
But by my spirit, says the Lord.
Now by our.
Determination or our diligence.
But our dependence and our devotion to God and are seeking out the will of God.
Well, finally finishing up versus 19 through 22. Here's point, #5, that is take joy in the work of God verse. Sorry 19 verse 20. Verse 19 through verse.
22 point #5, here's what it says.
And the descendants of the captivity kept the Passover on the 14th day of the first month for the priests, and the Levites had purified themselves.
All of them were ritually cleaned and they slaughtered the Passover lambs for all the descendants of the captivity for their brethren, the priests, and for themselves.
Then the children of Israel who had returned from the captivity ate together with.
All who had separated themselves from the filth of the nations of the land in order to seek the Lord God of Israel verse.
And they kept the feast of unleavened bread.
Seven days with joy, for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to strengthen their hands in the work of the House of God, the God of Israel.
After the work is completed.
There's a time of celebration and they take joy.
They take time to participate in the feast of Passover and unleavened bread that got it instructed in the law, but but they they do so with very joyful ha.
Parts it says the Lord made them joyful, and it's something really important to Remember Remember a few moments ago Zerubavel is discouraged.
There's a mountain looming in front of him.
It's never going to be moved.
The work is never going to be done right, but but.
The work will be.
Done trust God, the work will be completed and then the Lord will make.
You joyful that that there is going to be a completion of it, and the joy that comes along with it, that that there will be this rejoicing from the Lord in the work that he has.
Done and so for seven days they celebrate with joy the unleavened bread, they purify themselves that they're celebrating their relationship with the Lord.
They're walking with the Lord and rejoicing in his in his work, and and notice the work that it says here in verse 22 it's the Lord who.
Turned the heart.
Of the Kings, it's the Lord who worked out.
He is where we cannot.
Where we're at the end of our authority and our ability to influence God is able to work and accomplish the things that should be accomplished.
The things that are good for us.
The things that we need.
God is so big.
If it was good for you, for God to radically change the landscape of.
The world around us.
If it was good for you.
God would do that.
You can trust God.
He's going to work out the things.
That you can't.
You can trust God to provide.
As you do his work and set your eyes on him as you seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, his promises, I'll provide all those other things you can trust God to protect you.
In his plan and his purposes, he knows what's best for all of eternity.
You know, sometimes.
To protect you might mean to take you into eternity, because that's a far superior thing than this life, and it's kind of hard for us to understand that on this side of eternity sometimes, but.
But God will protect you.
He will protect your best interests.
What's best for you?
What's good for you?
He will protect you.
Trust him as you seek him and put him first and trust him to complete the work.
It's his promise.
He will finish what he started as you seek him as you put him.
First, you can be assured that God is going to do.
The work that he has for you, the plan that he wants to accomplish.
For you, for your good.
Finishing up with this quote from Pastor Warren Wisby, no matter what our circumstances may be.
We can trust God to be faithful.
Great is thy faithfulness isn't just a verse to quote.
Or a song dissing.
It's a glorious truth to believe and to act upon, no matter how difficult.
The situation in life may be great is thy faithfulness.
True and accurate statement God is faithful and we can trust him.
Accomplish his work while we set ourselves.
To his will his purpose to pleasing him.
We can trust him and rest.
He's in control no matter what we see, no matter what opposition comes, he's in control.
Really, our main objective is to be close to him to walk in his will.
And he'll take care of the rest.
Let's pray, Lord, we ask that you would help us to really trust you in the situations that we face the desires that we have.
The plans that we have help us God.
To really pray.
Not my will, but your will be done.
And Lord, as we seek first you, your Kingdom, your righteousness.
When we look to you and we trust you to provide all these things that you promise we trust you God.
To work out.
Whatever needs to be worked out to open doors that need to be open to closed doors that need to be closed.
Would we trust you to provide to give the resources that are necessary for your Kingdom for your purposes, for your glory?
Would we trust you to?
For our good.
And to do what's in our best interests.
Where we trust you to complete the work.
Help us Lord to really rest.
Lord even just thinking about Rick right now in the hospital and the postponements and delays Lord, I pray that you would give him that great faith and trust what you're able to work.
Out the things we cannot control.
You're able to accomplish your purposes, and even if we don't know them at the time.
We don't know the delay.
And the things that you had in store for the Time Lord when they were forced to stop building the temple and the time they were called back to.
We don't know why you did that.
Well, you had your reasons.
You had your purposes.
We can trust you.
And no, it was for good.
And so Lord, may we know that in our circumstances and the things that we face, may we really trust you.
And relationship with you and the pursuit of your will.
Lord, you will accomplish everything that you.
See as good.
You'll provide, you'll protect us.
You'll finish it all the way to the end.
Thank you, God, that we can trust and you help us to do so.
We pray this in Jesus name Amen.