Today’s passage: Ezra 5
- The Jews had been given a decree to build by Cyrus, and now with a new king in charge, and with the approval from the Lord (Who is sovereign over every king on earth), they began to build again.
- The nature of the building materials in mentioned in verse 8 because those materials were often used for defensive structures. The letter is trying to invoke concern that the Jews were preparing to defend themselves, insinuating looming rebellion against Persia.
- In their letter of appeal, the Jews make it clear, they are the servants of the God of heaven and earth. He is the King of kings. If Darius were to decline this task, he would be countering the decree of Cyrus…and God Himself.
Questions to consider:
- The Jews were free to rebuild once they had clear instruction from the word of God. Where do we find instruction that is sufficient for our decisions and actions in life (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:3)?
- The people must have known their obedience to God would bring about a negative reaction from the surrounding peoples and authorities. How would they, and how can we, find strength and courage to please God and follow Christ when the world will certainly oppose (e.g. John 16:33, Acts 5:29, Philippians 3:13-14, Hebrews 12:1-2, Revelation 21:1-5)?
- If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31-39)? What has God called us to participate in building (Matthew 16:18, 2 Corinthians 5:16-20)? What King has commissioned and commanded the work to be done (Matthew 28:18-20)?