5/21 God Never Gives Up

King James Daily Bible Study Devotional
Message Title: God Never Gives Up
Date: Monday May 21, 2012Today's Chapters: Ezra 3-6

Hello My Friend,
Sometimes it's not easy being a Christian, we face constant criticism, not only from the world, but other Christians as well, especially when we are trying to serve God. You can be sure that once you start serving God obstacles will come your way to try and stop you. The amazing thing is that everything is in God's hands, once He sets you on that journey to do His work He will stop at nothing for you to complete it, you might even get hung up once in a while, but God never gives up on you.
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” - 1 Peter 3:8-12.

Israel was in ruins, most of the Jews from the Northern Kingdom were scattered all over the world, while the Southern Kingdom were content to remain in Babylon, for seventy years not a thing was done to restore their promised land, once flowing with milk and honey. Now that king Cyrus set the Jews free they were able to return to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding, but only a few accepted the challenge. After four months of traveling they finally arrived to a desolate, abandoned land, full of evil.

And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening. They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;” - Ezra 3:1-4.
Every Jew came together as one and the first thing they did was set up an altar to God as it was written to do so in God's Word. This would be the first time that many of the Jews even knew of the feast of the Lord, but they followed every command written in the law of Moses as they learned it. Most people upon asking Jesus Christ to save them have never stepped foot in church or have been away for a long time. God does not expect us to completely change overnight, but day by day as we learn God's Word we learn to follow His commands as they are written. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.“ - Matthew 4:4.

The foundation was laid, the people jumped for joy, they were so excited that they were crying. Why after two years was only the foundation was laid? The plans to build the temple were laid out in the Book of the Law, if they were to do the job right they had to learn what that was. It's important that we learn to follow all of God's Word. God does not expect us to know everything instantly, it takes time to learn everything God has to show us, and even then we never learn everything, but we must stay in His Word in order to know all His commands. “
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” - 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

Now, you can be sure that with all the commotion going on near the Lord's stomping grounds that there would be some people out there not too happy about the rebuilding of the temple. As soon as the Jews laid the foundation, they were faced with criticism and opposition. “
Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. 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.” - Ezra 4:4,5,24.

Their lack of faith caused them to lose sight of God in the midst of their obstacles instead of seeking Him for help. For fourteen years the temple remained unfinished while the Jews attended to rebuilding the city. It took the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to remind them that they had not finished the temple and it was time to get back to work. This time God was with them and nothing would stop them.

Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them. At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall? Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building? But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter... And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up.” - Ezra 5:2-5,11.

Their reply as to who ordered the work of the temple, God ordered it. God's hands are in every part of our lives, from the good to the bad, He allows everything in order to grow us, prepare us, strengthen us, and bring us to the point that we realize we are nothing without Him. It's great to praise Him when things are going well, but it's the times we praise Him when things are not going so well that He blesses us the most. The more we praise Him through the obstacles the more blessed we become. “S
ubmit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” - James 4:7-10.

After some encouragement through Haggai and Zechariah the work finally continued until the temple was complete. This time the work was not only backed up by God Himself, but king Artaxerxes as well. “
Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,” - Ezra 6:8,14-16.

The key to their success was the power of God and His Word instructing them to rebuild the temple according to God's commands. God's work can only be sustained and strengthened through our faith, which leads to obedience to His Word, one power that Satan cannot take from us. “
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” - James 2:18,19.
Today's Psalm: 33:4 - “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
Today's Proverb: 16:3 - “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Today's Prayer: God, I know that You have a job for me,but I also know that life can somehow hinder me from doing the work You call me to do. Lord, I want all of Your blessings, I want to serve You according to Your Word, lead me and guide me, give me Your power to learn, understand, and serve You according to Your plan and not my own. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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