One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Wednesday, August 7, 2013: Ezra4:24-6:22
Thus the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:24 (NKJV)
1 Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them. Ezra 5:1-2 (NKJV)
God's people had undertaken a great work. Their aim was to rebuild and restore the house of God. What could possibly be a more noble or important assignment. This was not only a worthy cause; it was a CALLING.
No sooner had they laid the foundation and rallied the workers, but adversaries arrived (Ezra 4:1-2). A great work automatically attracts great opposition. These adversaries first posed as friends, but quickly showed their true colors. Their primary tactic was harassment and discouragement.
For a season, they were successful, and the great work ground to a halt. If Satan cannot seduce you, he seeks to stall you. If he cannot entice you into sin, he will try to intimidate into giving up. God's people on task filled with God's power are UNSTOPPABLE. But when discouragement sets in, defeat surely follows.
Therefore, God sent them exactly what they needed. He did not send more workers. He did not send more resources. He did not grant them better tools or weapons. He sent PROPHETS. Haggai and Zechariah lifted their voices declaring, "Thus says the Lord.....!" You can read exactly what these two prophets prophesied in their respective books in the Bible. It is POWERFUL!
Prophecy, the anointed declaration of the Word of the Lord, does far more than INFORM. It INSPIRES....it EXHORTS....it builds you up on the inside. The exact thing God's people needed then (and need now) was fire burning in their hearts.
This speaks to us. Perhaps you feel stalled in God’s plan for your life. Perhaps you are discouraged because of some lack – lack of time, lack of resources, lack of the right people. Satan will send you messengers. Those voices speak to you of the impossibility and even futility of your task. But, God will also send you messengers. His prophetic voices do not necessarily make your job easier or simpler. His voices light the fire of calling and passion down in your heart. With that inward strength, you can overcome every obstacle and not only complete your assignment, but prosper in it.
So, what voices are you listening to? While God’s plan may be difficult, yet His power is sufficient. He is speaking NOW. What is the “Thus says the Lord” to you today?