September 9 2014
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[ DATE : 2014-09-23 ]
   God’s Direction through His Prophets   Ezra 6:13-22
13
Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates carried it out with diligence.
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So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia.
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The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
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Then the people of Israel--the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles--celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy.
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For the dedication of this house of God they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel.
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And they installed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their groups for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses.
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On the fourteenth day of the first month, the exiles celebrated the Passover.
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The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were all ceremonially clean. The Levites slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their brothers the priests and for themselves.
21
So the Israelites who had returned from the exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the LORD, the God of Israel.
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For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the LORD had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®. COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God’s Preachers (6:13–16)
In this modern age where preaching is often considered foolish and old-fashioned, it is astonishing to see how God guides the building of the temple through the voices of preachers. Verse 14 says that the “elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia.” The temple is completed around 515 BC, a little more than seventy years after its destruction. The Jews joyfully gather there to celebrate Passover (v. 22). God’s Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our paths in a dark world (Ps. 119:105).

God still speaks to us today through the Bible and His preachers. Ask God to give you a listening ear when you hear the Word, and the power to put what He says into practice.

God Uses Kings (6:17–22)
Soon after the temple is completed, the people celebrate Passover. This holiday reminds them of when God brought their ancestors out from the bondage of Egypt. At that time, God told them to instate the Passover holiday as a remembrance of the first Passover (Exod. 12:1–14). And so, for “seven days they celebrated with joy.” The Israelites could thank God because God Himself “had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God” (v. 22). God can change the hearts of kings, and He can use anybody for His purposes. Once again, we see God’s sovereign goodness and His faithfulness towards His people.

Have you ever had an experience where non-Christians went out of their way to help you? If yes, thank God for His favor. If no, ask Him to grant you favor as you go about His work.
Father, thank you for watching over us. Thank you for Your divine favor in all things. Thank you for Your preachers and people in high government places. Please use them for Your glory and the good of Your people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.