Ezra 5:1-2 and Obeying the Messengers

2639302-Torah-Scroll-Stock-Photo-ancientAs the Book of Ezra unfolds, the Jewish people who have returned to Judah are trying to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, and they encounter messengers from the peoples around them who tell them to stop. Letters are written back and forth to the King of Persia, Artaxerxes, and messengers from this king inform the Jewish people to stop rebuilding Jerusalem. Then these verses come:

Then the prophet Haggai and the prophet Zechariah, Iddo’s son, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of Israel’s God who was over them.  Subsequently, Zerubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, and Jeshua, Jozadak’s son, began to rebuild God’s house in Jerusalem. God’s prophets were with them, helping them.

Artaxerxes sent his messengers to halt construction on the city, and God sent his messengers to encourage construction of the Temple. In both cases the Jewish people obeyed the messengers sent to them.

I like this passage because it reminds me that the Lord knows what circumstances and trials we face in life and will provide an answer and direction if we are truly seeking to do his will in our lives. God had prompted Cyrus to allow the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and Judah. When they were forced to abandon work on the walls of Jerusalem, God sent messengers, prophets, to encourage the people to continue the work for which they came home–to rebuild the Temple.

The Lord is always there, and he always knows what the circumstances are of our lives. Trust that the Lord will send messengers into your own life when you are discouraged and do not know what to do. Seek to do God’s will in your life above and beyond anything else, and God will show you how to do just that.


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