Wisdom Seekers Christian University Online
365 Devotionals: Times of Restoration
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP
The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series
Walk On By
11 They sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid! 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house [Solomon’s temple], when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice, though many shouted aloud for joy. Ezra 3:11-12 AMP
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13 So the people could not distinguish the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far off. Ezra 3:13 AMP
Here is a list of key people found in today’s reading (in order of appearance) with bios from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Jeshua. The son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests.
- Zerubbabel. The son of Shealtiel and his brothers.
- The Samaritans. Adversaries of Judah and Benjamin.
- King Cyrus. A King of Persia.
- king Darius. A King of Persia.
- King Ahasuerus (Xerxes). A King of Persia.
- Rehum. A Persian commander of the Samaritans.
- Shimshai. A scribe.
- The associates of Rehum and Shimshai. Also the judges, the lesser governors, the officials, the secretaries, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites, 10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble [c]Osnappar deported and settled in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the region [d]west of the [Euphrates] River. These together conspired to write a letter to Ahasuerus, against Jerusalem.
Today’s Devotional Reading: Ezra 3 – 4
Have you been serving the Lord and seen your “allies” turn back to serve the wicked? These are the sheep-clothed wolves (Matthew 10:16). We need the Lord’s help to recognize them, as they will offer peace in a word, but sabotage the work if unleashed. They are also good at blaming the true sheep, after their own devices are brought to light.
The good news is that God already knows your intention, before you do whatever is in your heart. Therefore the enemy should not think that he (or she) has “gotten away” with anything. God has a divine timing for judgment. And the soul that sinneth shall die (the reason this soul dies is because God is the life-giver – the breath, if you will, of the soul. The soul that sinneth disconnects from the life-source, effectively suffocating itself (Ezekiel 18:4).
Understand that “Sinneth” means “to continually sin.” If we stop the sin business and are reconciled to God, He promised to restore us. Yet because we live in the land of mercy it is easy for the enemy to have an “Eve” mentality. Since God said we will reap what we sow, the wicked think Him to have lied when they are not destroyed a moment after the first disobedience (Genesis 3:4). But God has made a promise to the just, who trust in God to fight our battles (Jeremiah 51:24).”
But observe how the work of the adversary went forth in today’s reading, that you may arm yourself accordingly – by not being intimidated to the end that you cease from building the temple (2 Corinthians 6:16).
11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time. 12Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. 13Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. 14Now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king; 15That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed. 16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.
This letter came from people who claimed to be supporters of the work. And they enticed others to support them in supplanting the good that would have been done in restoring the Lord’s holy place.
17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time. 18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. 19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. 20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them. 21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. 22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. 24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall? Ezra 5:3 (Translation: Who do you think you are?) The devil’s advocate asks boldly, from where do you derive authority to preach, or teach, or command God’s resources. This is done to intimidate and provoke you to wrath (Psalm 4:4).
Remember who is really asking the question: Satan. You can beat the devil with the Word of God (sharper than a two-edged sword). So He says warrior, stand up and do as I have commanded you. Be not afraid of their faces (Jeremiah 1:8).
Remember what Jesus said when He was questioned of the same manner (Matthew21:23-27). If the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead works in you (Philippians 2:13), give the devil his walking papers.
Satan, the Lord rebuke thee in the name of Jesus.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 21:8
Thank God for reading Seeds of Promise!
Image Source: 365 Seeds of Promise by Shenica Graham.
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