And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia (Ezra 6:14).
By now there may seem to be a theme building, but it is unintentional. These scriptures do bear discussion concerning the importance of completing what you begin.
By examining what transpired over the reign of these three kings, it is apparent that this building project did not come without obstacles. As a matter of fact, just having three different foreign kings holding control over Israel was enough to have brought the rebuilding to a close. The different kings could have easily had different mindsets on how to rule over this nation they had in their captivity.
The Spirit of the Lord had moved on the heart of Cyrus and drawn him to make a decree that the Temple of God would be rebuilt. Over the course of time, the work slowed. Those involved were reminded at times of the importance of their endeavours. They were not working for themselves, instead they were doing a service to God.
Each of these kings had seen the power of God. They may not have been part of God's chosen, nevertheless, they were chosen of God to see the rebuilding of the Temple completed. God does not always choose the most likely candidate. We know this from His choosing of Saul of Tarsus. But the LORD said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15).
All through the Bible, we see God use those the world sees as unworthy. What makes a person worthy to be chosen of God? Can our earthly works make us worthy of being used of God to finish a work for Him? The answer in the scripture is clear. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Is. 64:6).
If God leads us to a service for Him, we should follow. The calling of God is what makes mankind worthy. As you work for the Lord, let it be an inspiration to you to see the work to a close that God, Himself, selected you to perform
According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: (Eph. 1:4)
Thought for Today:
Showing a loving spirit as we serve the Lord Jesus, will encourage and bless many others.
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.
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.
Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to the Lord as incense before God (Rev. 8:3-4).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 1:1-2