Ezra 5

Ezra 5 has the people of God going forward with the work of rebuilding the temple.  God sends prophets to help get things started again.  “Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah….prophesied to the Jews”.  The prophets come and rebuke the people.  Haggai’s words are recorded in the book that carries his name, but he tells them to get to work.  The people were content to let the cause of the Lord suffer at the expense of their comfort. So “Zerubbabel….and Jeshua….arose and began to rebuild the house of God”.

But it didn’t go unnoticed.  ““Tattenai the governor….came to them and spoke….Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure”?  He and his companions wanted to know why the work of building both the temple and the wall had resumed.  But he is more reasonable that previous rulers, and listens to the request to send a letter to the king to get his take on what was happening.  He asked to speak to the elders who were in charge, and they shared the names.  But God was with them.

“The eye of their God was on the elders….they did not stop them until the report should reach Darius”.  These folks were believing in the word from the prophets to continue building.  They knew it wasn’t approved by the king or man, but it was God’s desire.  So they continued.  And when Tattenai asked them why, they had clarity in their response.  “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago”.  This is God’s idea and they are committed to accomplishing it.

They ask Tattenai to seek the kings direction regarding the decree made earlier by Cyrus.  Tattenai sends a letter that seems to fairly represent their story. “Therefore, if it seems good to the king, let search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by Cyrus the king for the rebuilding of this house of God”.  Tattenai asked King Darius to research the matter, to determine if the rebuilding of temple and Jerusalem was royally sanctioned.

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