Background:Atleast 3 books are running in parallel to this book of Ezra that I read. The book of Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah. As the Israelites began their spiritual journey back to their God, with the rebuilding of the temple of their Living God under the leadership of 2 great leaders God has raised up for them, Ezra the priest and Nehemiah the governor, the enemies did not like the idea of Israelites rebuilding the temple of their God.
The Bible says "Ezra 4:4 "Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. [a] 5 They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia." The opposition worked, not only during the reign of King of Cyrus but through the reign of king Xerxes and Artaxerxes until King Darius arrived on the throne. Though the opposers might have thought they had brought to halt the work of God when Artaxerxes sent a decree refraining the Israelites from building the temple of God " Ezra 4:24 "Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia."
It might have seemed to the enemy they had won, when the work stopped, the Bible records "Ezra 5:5 "But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received. " So the Israelites continued to work with the encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. This time, the governor of Trans-Euphrates , Tattenai's attention came upon the Israelites who were still working at the temple. He sent the right letter to King Darius, seeking, whether King Cyrus had really sent a decree to rebuild the temple of the Israelites' God. What happened after Tattenai's letter reached King Darius is so glorious, I think you should read it yourself , here.
- Activate God's divine intervention through obedience to His Word-All this while, atleast for the past 400yrs or so the Israelites had been running away, in disobedience, from God and they saw defeat upon defeat till they lost the kingdom. As they started returning to God, God began to intervene and change their lives into a blessing. He changed the heart of King Cyrus to give them authority to build the temple and now He moved King Darius' heart to affirm the decree King Cyrus had given, with even more fervour. As we walk in obedience toward God, we get closer into God's intervention so that our lives may be transformed and God will not leave any stone unturned, in order for His good pleasing and perfect for our lives to be completed.
- Hurdles are not road blocks-When the Israelites started rebuilding the temple of God, their enemies discouraged them, defamed them even to bring their work to a halt for a time, but God kept watching His people and did not rest until the hurdle was overcome, until Darius' response had come(Ezra 5:5). When we are at God's work, in obedience to God, there will be many hurdles the enemy places in our paths to prevent us from running the race that is set before us. However God knows, He watches over us and will not rest until the solution for our situation has come to us.
- Legal Permission to Rebuild-It was God's desire to rebuild the temple of God for the Israelites, then. Even so for us, God desires for us to rebuild His body, His temple, us, the body of Christ. God desires ever so greatly that every soul be reunited to His body and we have a permission to rebuild. King Darius sent out a decree, saying no one should hinder the Israelites from working on the temple, infact the Israelites should be provided for their need from the national treasury, everything they need to rebuild the temple. Can you imagine that, Persia(Iran) paying Israelites to rebuild God's temple!!!
- When God's in the middle of the work, your provisions are taken care of- Darius declared Ezra 6:8"v8 The expenses of these men are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop" God is able to provide for all the needs we might have during the rebuilding of His temple, from treasuries you never thought of.
Conclusion:Through this reading of Ezra 6 a great revelation dawned on me. We have a legal permission and calling to build the temple of the Living God. Jesus commanded Mark 16:15 "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."
Our King Lord Jesus has given out a decree Matthew 28:19-20 "19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." And all our needs, while we work, are met by the royal treasure, just as another builder of God's temple, wrote in his letter to us "Philippians 4:19"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Whatever be our need, spiritual, physical, financial, be it anything, our King Jesus is able to provide from His royal treasury, as we continue at our work for His Kingdom