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Unexpected Legacy Day 11

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Scripture: Ezra 4:1-5 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel,  they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”  But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.” Then the people around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.  They bribed officials 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.

Devotional:  As Zerubbabel and his associates began to build, their enemies began to take note and conspired to frustrate their plans- first with and underhanded attempt to infiltrate the process by offering to help.  But when Zerubbabel saw through their plans and refused them, they came up from their subversive ways and outright opposed the building in every way possible.

What a great reminder for you and I that, even though we set about the work God has called us to, that doesn’t guarantee it will be smooth sailing.  We may face great opposition and discouragement.  And we also, as Matthew 10:16 says, must be “shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.”

Reflect:

  • Reflect upon a time that you have faced opposition to the work to which you’re called, but you were able to endure the resistance and push through to success.

Unexpected Legacy Day 10

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Scripture: Ezra 3:1-3, 8 Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. 

In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work.

Devotional:  In today’s passage we begin to get a glimpse of the fact that rebuilding the temple of God in Jerusalem was not going to be a cake walk.  They put first things first and built the altar of God so they could worship God according to their customs, bringing sacrifices to Him throughout the building process.

But we also see in this passage that they had reason to fear the people around them, but they continued the work despite that.  More on that tomorrow….

Reflect:

  • It’s important to note that, even as Zerubbabel and the others began to work on rebuilding the temple, they made worship the priority before and during the process. They built God’s altar so they could properly worship Him as He had instructed centuries before, and then they carried on with the work, continuing to worship Him daily as they did.  How do you make worship part of your daily life as you go about the work God to which has called you?

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