The Temple is Dedicated

If you want to be good at playing an instrument, it takes dedication, commitment, and countless hours of practice. An admirer once approached a great pianist and said, “I’d give my life to be able to play like you.” The pianist replied, “I did.” (Source Unknow … More

Dedication

Governor Tattenai, Shethar Bozenai, and their advisors carefully obeyed King Darius (v. 13). With great success the Jewish leaders continued working on the temple, while Haggai and Zechariah encouraged them by their preaching (v. 14). And so, the temple was completed at the command of the God of Israel and by the orders of kings Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes of Persia. The Temple was completed on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius (v. 15). The Israelites–the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles–celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy (v. 16).

One hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs were offered as sacrifices at the dedication (v. 17). Also twelve goats were sacrificed as sin offerings for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then the priests and Levites were assigned their duties in God’s temple in Jerusalem, according to the instructions Moses had written (v. 18). The returned exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month (v. 19). For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were clean (v. 20). So they killed the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their brother priests, and for themselves.

The sacrifices were eaten by the Israelites who had returned and by the neighboring people who had given up the sinful customs of other nations in order to worship the LORD God of Israel (v. 21). For seven days they celebrated the Festival of Thin Bread. Everyone was happy because the LORD God of Israel had made sure that the king of Assyria would be kind to them and help them build the temple (v. 22).

Application

Ezra carefully pointed out that rebuilding the temple was commanded first by God then by the kings, who where His instruments. God’s will is supreme over all rulers, all historical events and all hostile forces. If I trust in His power and love, with complete dedication to Him, no opposition can stop me.

Ezra 6:13-22 (English Standard Version)

Then, according to the word sent by Darius the king, Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what Darius the king had ordered. And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia; and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. They offered at the dedication of this house of God 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel 12 male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. And they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their divisions, for the service of God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses. On the fourteenth day of the first month, the returned exiles kept the Passover. For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were clean. So they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves. It was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile, and also by every one who had joined them and separated himself from the uncleanness of the peoples of the land to worship the LORD, the God of Israel. And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

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