The Work on The Temple Progresses

I tend to be a tosser when something doesn’t work, I will toss it out, I will buy a replacement. So when the lawn mower stops working, I take it out to the garbage and go buy a new one. But we have a neighbor who is wonderfully skilled in repairing things. So he will come out and … More

Rebuilding

Governor Tattenai, Shethar Bozenai, and their advisors sent a report to King Darius wishing him the best (vv. 6-7). They tell how they went to Judah, where the temple of the great God is being built with huge stones and wooden beams set in the walls (v. 8). Everyone is working hard, and the building is going up fast. They explain how they asked those in charge to tell them who gave  permission to rebuild the temple (v. 9). They also asked for the names of their leaders, so they could write them down for them (v. 10).

They claimed to be servants of the God who rules heaven and earth. And they said they were rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago by one of Israel’s greatest kings (v. 11). They were told that their people had made God angry, and he let them be captured by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who took them away as captives to Babylonia (v. 12). Nebuchadnezzar tore down their temple, took its gold and silver articles, and put them in the temple of his own god in Babylon (vv. 13-15). They also said that during the first year Cyrus was king of Babylonia, he gave orders for God’s temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem where it had stood before. So Cyrus appointed Sheshbazzar governor of Judah and sent these gold and silver articles for him to put in the temple.

Sheshbazzar then went to Jerusalem and laid the foundation for the temple, and  since that time until now it has been in the process of being rebuilt and is not completed yet (v. 16). If it seems good to the king, let a search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon to see if it is true that King Cyrus really did give orders to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem. He says we will do whatever you think we should (v. 17).

Application

I am thankful that God is in the business of rebuilding me into what he wants me to be.

Ezra 5:6-17 (English Standard Version)

This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates, the governors who were in the province Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king. They sent him a report, in which was written as follows: "To Darius the king, all peace. Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands. Then we asked those elders and spoke to them thus: 'Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?' We also asked them their names, for your information, that we might write down the names of their leaders. And this was their reply to us: 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. But because our fathers had angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia. However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt. And the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, these Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; and he said to him, "Take these vessels, go and put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its site." Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it has been in building, and it is not yet finished.' Therefore, if it seems good to the king, let search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by Cyrus the king for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. And let the king send us his pleasure in this matter."

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