God The Avenger! November 13
Moreover, I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.
The book of Ezra is a historical account of the building of the Temple. The Hebrews were released from 70 years of captivity and commissioned to return to Jerusalem by King Cyrus and rebuild the Temple.
You know the enemy would not allow this building project to go on without trying to stop it, and he managed to get the project stopped for a while.
His tactic was to use people, former enemies that came as friends, sheep in wolf's clothing, offering to help build the Temple. Zerubbabel told them, "You have nothing to do with us."
Their next tactic was to lawyer up and petition King Artaxerxes of Persia to stop the project, and he stopped the rebuild. Some of the Jewish leaders, with much haste, went to the builders and made them cease by force and power; it was a severe decree.
But Thank God for the prophets! Haggai and Zechariah prophesied that the rebuilding must go on, and on it did.
The governors of the land returned and demanded that the project be stopped. The Jews refused and kept working. Again, they sent lawyers to the king, but there was a new King named Darius this time. Darius researched King Cyrus's decree and understood the power of God so much that he requested the priests and Jewish people continue to pray for him and his sons.
What makes this verse stand out is the amazing decree that King Darius made, he made the enemies of the Temple pay taxes and supply all their needs while they rebuilt the Temple, and he told them to do it with haste. He also gave an incentive for them to help the Jews. If they caused trouble, their houses were to be torn down, and the lumber turned into gallows, and they were to be hung.
When you're being hindered, God can turn it around overnight! He can suddenly put the resources of your enemy to your use.
We have a third temple to be built soon, and I'm sure the enemy will try and stop it too. But watch what God can do!
He is: El Nathan Neqamah
The God Who Avenges Me