These days I’m in Ezra in my Bible reading (check out, John 10:10b on lettheword.com, our group for reading the Bible), and I am impressed with what a struggle is there for the rebuilding of God’s house. Because God’s people, Israel, disobeyed God and went after other gods, He brought in the Babylonians to take them as captives. God tried to warn them and draw them back, but they didn’t listen!
Jeremiah prophesied that the people of Israel will be in captivity for 70 years, and this happened exactly: king Cyrus released the people of Israel to return to their homeland and gave a decree to rebuild the temple and the city in Jerusalem. Strange though, not all the people of Israel returned to their land, but only a small number whose spirit was stirred up by God.
The Struggle for the Building
As I was reading the book of Ezra I realized that there’s such a fight, a struggle, for the rebuilding of God’s house! First there’s the enemies without, the people of the land, who “wanted to help with the building” but then turned against them and sent letters to the king to stop the building! Then there’s the enemies within, causing all kinds of hindrances to come in so that the temple and the city won’t be rebuilt…
In all these we see that God is operating behind the scenes with the help of some of His people who pray:
- He prophesied through Jeremiah concerning the captivity and its end (Jer. 25:12-29),
- He prayed in and through Daniel for the release of the captives to return to Israel (Dan. 6:10),
- He stirred up Zerubbabel and the others to return (Ezra 2),
- He spoke through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to strengthen and encourage the people to continue rebuilding (Ezra 5:1),
- He moved king Darius to strengthen those rebuilding (Ezra 6),
and this is only up to chapter 6 in Ezra! Hallelujah, within the outward human history God is working through the prayer and cooperation of some of His people that He may accomplish what He desires!
It is the same today – God’s people is in captivity in all kinds of religions, denominations, free groups, etc. Many of God’s people prosper there, and most of them got settled where they are….
Being the People God Needs Today
God needs some Daniels who pray one with the Lord for the return of His people to the proper ground of oneness. Some need to see God’s desire for His people to return, and they will rise up to pray!
God needs some Zerubbabel’s today, who are stirred up in their spirit to return to the land and the city God chose to put His name. Some need to take the lead to return to the local churches, to the ground of oneness, to do the rebuilding work.
God needs some Zechariah’s and Haggai’s, who strengthen and encourage the people to pray. The returned people are not “super-spiritual”, they are not too strong in their desire to rebuild… so God needs some who speak to them, who prophesy by speaking God’s word of encouragement and vision!
God needs some unbelievers who help the church people build the house of God. He will raise up people in the world who will help the saints in the local churches to rebuild the house of God.
God needs some Ezra’s who speak the word of God, impart an understanding of God’s desire into people, and help God’s people to be reconstituted with God’s word and His principles.
My general impression as I am reading this book is that there’s such a struggle when it comes to the rebuilding of God’s house. The enemy is without and within, and there are so many Babylonian elements in us that need to be dealt with…
May God really gain us as the Daniels who pray, the Zerubbabels who are stirred up to rebuild, the Zechariahs and Haggais who speak encouragement to God’s people, and the Ezras who know God’s word and impart a proper understanding of God’s desire into His people, so that the building work may continue!