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Rebuilding the Temple

God works through His people to accomplish His purposes.

Ezr 6:16  And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,

Soon after the Jews arrived back in Judah, they began rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple. However, the Samaritans mounted a strong resistance to the Jews and succeeding in hindering the work for many years. After this, by God‘s providence, the Jews in Judah gained the support of the Persian king Darius. Then with the encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the work resumed and the Temple was completed. We can be encouraged by this lesson that even though we may face opposition when we do good, with God’s help we can overcome it.

The following passage are the words of Jesus Christ concerning opposition.

John 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

John 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

…….No matter where the will of God takes us, there will always be opposition. Jesus encourages on many occasions to continue in the work no matter where it takes us, and no matter the hindrance along the way. Many people think that oppositional stress is a sign of something being wrong spiritually. One man said it this way, “If the devil isn’t fighting, something is wrong”.

No matter how hard the battle became, Jesus never put His head down in defeat. He knew His outcome would be death by crucifixion, the most agonizing and humiliating torment possible, but still continued His work. What a thought, He knew His end was a suffering death, but His only thought was pleasing the purpose!


A. Opposed By Adversaries

Ezr 4:1  Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel;

Ezr 4:2  Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

Ezr 4:3  But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

Ezr 4:4  Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

Ezr 4:5  And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

……. at this time the Samaritans had a fear for God but worshiped many other gods. If the Jews would have allowed the idolatrous Samaritans to participate in rebuilding the temple,The whole effort would have been corrupted.

…….After Judah refused the help of the Samaritans, they turned to hostility. The Samaritans Bribed political officials to work against the Jews and frustrate their plans.

Listen to the letter sent to the king of Persia:

Ezr 4:11  This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time.

Ezr 4:12  Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

Ezr 4:13  Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings.

Ezr 4:14  Now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king;

Ezr 4:15  That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.

Ezr 4:16  We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.

B. God’s Work Stopped

Ezr 4:17  Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.

Ezr 4:18  The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.

Ezr 4:19  And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.

Ezr 4:20  There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them.

Ezr 4:21  Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.

Ezr 4:22  Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?

Ezr 4:23  Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.

Ezr 4:24  Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

…….Many times when the enemy attacks, his tactics work. Not that our Lord allows the enemy to have victory, but mostly to expose our reaction to a setback or sense of defeat. Our reaction to opposition is a true testimony of our salvation. In times like this, the fruit of the Spirit must take its place where available. When we keep our trust in Him instead of reacting in the flesh, He will see us through. Just because we think the enemy won the battle, there’s still a war going on, and our army has never been defeated.


A. Encouraged by Prophets

Ezr 5:1  Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them.

Ezr 5:2  Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

…….At this time, there was conflict at the throne of Persia. King Darius’s place had been taken by a fanatical devotie of the cult of the Magism, which opposed all temples, and destroyed many temples in Persia during his short reign.

After the prophets came and prophesied, the Jews knew that it was God’s timing and they continued the work.

Ezr 5:3  At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?

Ezr 5:4  Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building?

Ezr 5:5  But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.

…….The elders of the Jews, who presided over the workmen building the temple, were the special objects of God’s watchful care and protection. He strengthen them to do his will.

Can you testify of a time where your back was against a wall in conflict and the Lord stepped in and put someone of authority in the way?!

B. Favored by God

Ezr 6:1  Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.

Ezr 6:2  And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:

Ezr 6:3  In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;

Ezr 6:6  Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence:

…….What a thought, that the very one who came against God’s people were called out by name.

Ezr 6:11  Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.

…….Not only were they called out, but were also commanded to take up the bill of the building.

Ezr 6:12  And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.

…….When you live for the Lord, the facts stay on your side. We can turn to His Word and see every promise of protection.


A. God’s House Dedicated

Ezr 6:13  Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.

Ezr 6:14  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.

Ezr 6:16  And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,

Ezr 6:18  And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.

B. Redemption Celebrated

Ezr 6:19  And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.

Ezr 6:20  For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

Ezr 6:21  And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,

Ezr 6:22  And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

…….Now that the Temple was rebuilt, Israel could keep the observance every feast and Holy day. Including these celebrations was the Passover, not only their nations long ago redemption from slavery in Egypt, but also their recent redemption from captivity in Babylon. They could now rejoice as the fathers in days of old, knowing the true meaning of redemption.

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