Ezra and Nehemiah
Ezra is about the command of King of Persia, Cyrus who commanded the house of the LORD to be rebuilt. Ezra and Zerubbabel were used of God with willing workers to began the work and see it through. But Cyrus passed away, and the opposition mounted. The work even ended for a time, but God's people would not be stopped. In chapter 5, the question is asked over and over, "who commanded you to build this house?" The people against the Israelites wrote letters to the King of Persia saying these people are rebelling against the kingdom. Darius was the king and was asked to make a search whether or not Cyrus ever gave such a command. Many years had passed, but a search was made and sure enough the commandment was found and Darius even commanded that the opposition be taxed to fund the work! In Ezra 8:23, it says "So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us." God listened to the fasting and praying of His people.... and He still does!! The rest of the book of Ezra describes the need of repentance of God's people after the temple was built. This is our constant need... to stay humble and ask for God's forgiveness and guidance.
Nehemiah is about the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem. God spoke to a laymen to go to Jerusalem and build the walls that had been destroyed over 100 years earlier. Opposition abounded, but God blessed and every obstacle was overcome. In 52 days, Nehemiah had rebuilt the walls. Something that had not happened for over 100 years!! Nehemiah had this belief: "The God of Heaven, He will prosper us!" We too need this same confidence! God will take care of us as we look to Him. Nehemiah is one of my very favorite books of the Bible. It is full of leadership principles, faith principles, determination, ect. It is an amazing book. "I am doing a great work". This is how he felt about the work God had called him to do. We need the same confidence!! After the walls were built, Nehemiah had the priest read the book of the law of God distinctly and caused them to understand the reading. Preaching with explaining the Words of God is still needed today. I hope I'm that type of preacher. Well, tomorrow we will talk about Esther and Job. May God bless!! Pastor Mike Mutchler
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