SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
MARCH 13, 2022
EZRA 6: 1-12
The book of Ezra tracks the history of rebuilding the temple and restoring worship. There was resistance to rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem from many sides. There were those left in the city during exile, Samaritans and enemies of Judah. Some were distracted with building their own homes. It is here in chapter six of Ezra that the rebuilding of the temple was renewed with fervor.
1 RESURRECTED DECREE (Ezra 6: 1-4)
It is here that King Darius investigates in regards to rebuilding the temple. He looks at the decision made by his predecessor rather than to make a new decree. The original decree from King Cyrus gave the Jews permission to rebuild their temple. It was to be paid for by the Persian Empire. God uses the wisdom, authority and resources of a conquering king to rebuild the Jewish temple.
2 RESTORED PROTECTION (vv. 5-7)
King Nebuchadnezzar had stolen materials from the temple that King Darius restored. He restores the protection of Judah, commanding his governors to leave the Jews alone as they rebuild the temple.
3 RESTORED RESCOURCES (vv. 8-12)
It is here that the governors are instructed to help the people of Judah rebuild the temple and to make sure they have all of the resources they need. King Darius makes sure that the Priest had everything they need to give proper sacrifices to the Lord. He ask that they honor the Lord on his behalf. Anyone trying to stop the Jews from rebuilding the temple will be executed.
It is often said that the “wheels of Justice move slow”. Justice does seem to be slow moving according to our time, however, God is much bigger than time, I am
always amazed at the amazing work of God, how it is that God sees what it is that we don’t see. In our lesson, God uses an unbeliever to accomplish his will and the goal of the Jewish nation, that they are free to have corporate worship in a rebuilt temple. King Darius could have established a new decree but he maintains the decree set by King Cyrus. There is a silver lining!
Rev. Johnny H. Eskridge