King James Bible Study – [Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.]
Date: Saturday. September 18, 2021
Chapters: Ezra 4-6, Psalm 137
Message: Finish The Work
Hello My Friend,
As I was praying this morning, God reminded me that I have much need of patience, that after doing the will of God, I will receive the promise. Now, we who are faithful, saved, and born again, all have hope in the promise of eternal life with our Christ, but how is our hope in seeing His earthly promises? Are we quick to jump from one thing to the next, searching for that promise, or are we doing His will, and patiently waiting or Him to bring them to us? Well, I believe that I am somewhere in between, and the further along I get in my walk with Christ the more I realize just how impatient I am and how I hinder God with my impatience. There are actually two things that can hinder God’s earthly promises, and this time, sin is not the culprit, it is impatience and fear, [Luke 12:29-32 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.]
As we continue reading from Ezra, the foundation was now laid, and construction of the building was beginning. It did not take long before they were faced with opposition from the locals, who were quite happy with the way things were going in Jerusalem. First, they tried to convince them that they wanted to help.
[Ezra 4:1-5 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; 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. 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. 4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 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.]
[to frustrate their purpose,] There is nothing more discouraging than to put your heart into something only to have people getting in the way of your progress. God has a purpose for each and every one of His faithful, and Satan will never stop trying frustrate that purpose, he is our greatest adversary and the one who often hinders us, [1 Thessalonians 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.]
Let me tell you, there are times when I get up discouraged and depressed, wondering why I do all this when it seems I am not getting through to anyone. Then I try to convince myself, or rather the devil does, that I am being too bold, that I need to lighten up and not be so strong in my words. This is what was happening when the Jews were rebuilding the temple, they did everything to try and stop them. When the intimidation did not work, they resorted writing a letter to the king, full of lies.
[Ezra 4:7-8 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue. 8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort: 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. 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.]
[then will they not pay toll,] Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes is the same person, Artaxerxes, is his Persian name, while Ahasuerus is his Chaldean name. Do you see what is happening here? Corrupt politicians want their people to live in such poverty that their cities never prosper and the people become dependent upon them. I am going to say it, this is the socialism that we deal with today, and it is coming from both Democrats and Republicans. Their districts are overrun with people living on the streets, crime, drugs, disgusting immorality, and yet they keep them there with high taxes and regulations that make it impossible for them to better themselves. And what is worse, there is no sign of God whatsoever. This is exactly how things were in Jerusalem and if they had to lie to get the king to stop them from building the temple, then so be it, and it worked.
[Ezra 4:18-21,24 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. 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. 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. 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. 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.]
[So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius] The Jews were forced to desist from building the temple until another command had been given to allow them to start building it again. This is actually not the same Darius from the beginning of the chapter. They had begun building the temple in the first year of Cyrus, in 536 BC, were forced to desist, and did not start up again until 522 BC. For fourteen years the temple remained unfinished while the Jews attended to the rebuilding of the city. It took the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to remind them that it was time to get back to God’s work.
[Ezra 5:1-3,5 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. 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. 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? 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.]
[Who hath commanded you to build this house,] Of course, it did not take long before they faced more opposition. This reminds me of when Jesus was in the temple and the chief priests and scribes questioned how He had gotten His authority to do and teach what He wanted in the temple, [Mark 11:28-30,33 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.]
No one has the authority to stop us from doing what God has called us to do. And no one has the authority to stop us from living the way God wants us to live. They cannot force us to stop preaching that homosexuality is sin, abortion is murder, or that there are only two genders. Oh, they will try, and many churches will cease the work of God out of fear, but we serve the one and only living God, and He has our back. This time, they knew that God was with them and nothing would hinder them. The governor actually sent a letter to the king.
[Ezra 5:8-11,17 Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands. 9 Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls? 10 We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them. 11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up. 17 Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.]
[We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth,] Again, it is often fear that hinders us from doing God’s will. We also must not be so quick to give up when faced with opposition, and remember that we belong to Jesus and are His. And that is where Christians, whom have endured what we have come into play to help encourage us to get back in God’s will. While we are subject to complying with the laws of the land, God’s law supersedes their laws every time, and by the way, here in America, our Constitution gives us that right to refrain from doing something that would cause us to go against our God. Sooner or later, even the world realizes this. The governor did and so did the king after he had sent that letter.
[Ezra 6:7-8,13,15 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. 8 Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. 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. 15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.]
[that they be not hindered.] The king not only returned a message saying they could continue rebuilding the temple, they were not to hinder them in any way, and were even told to give them everything they needed to get the work done. We must remember, that this is God’s battle and Satan is our adversary. As long as we trust God, nothing can hinder us from continuing to do His work, as He will see us through. When life hinders us from doing the things that even God wants us to do, we cannot throw in the towel and give up, we must get up and actually run this race with patience. God is with us, He really is, and the times you think that He is no where to be found, that is when He is preparing us and making things ready for us. He willingly and delightfully gives us those earthly promises when we do His will, and patiently wait for Him, [Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.]
Jesus Christ Magnified: [Ezra 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.]
Today’s Prayer: God, I know that You have work for me to do, I also know that I have hindered that work at times when I let my fear and impatience get the best of me to keep me. I will not let my heart be troubled by the constant opposition that comes my way, I want to serve You according to Your Word, and not let anything hinder me from completing the work You have given me. Lord, Lead me, guide me, give me Your power to learn, discern, and endure all those who oppose me. Keep me safe, protected, and uplifted so that I can finish the work You have called me to do. I ask this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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