Today’s Tasting: Ezra 4-6; Psalms 137
Cyrus the Great helped retrieve the temple articles that Nebuchadnezzar had looted. He, then, issued decrees to encourage Hebrew volunteers to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Israel had settled into Babylon by purchasing homes, launching businesses, learning the Babylonian language, and taking on their culture.
According to Psalm 137, while in Babylon their captors required the Hebrews to sing the songs of Zion. They mourned to return to and live in Jerusalem, the home of their fathers. Singing soothed their souls as they tried not to forget their homeland.
Zerubbabel led the first group of a new generation of Hebrews, now known as Jews, and returned to Jerusalem. This new generation knew nothing about their native language or culture, which included the Law of Moses and the Temple or daily cultural rituals. As the construction to rebuild the Temple started, adversaries tried to discourage them. The king ordered temple building to cease.
Yet, with Haggai and Zechariah’s encouragement, the Jews completed what we now know as Zerrubbable’s Temple. The Jews celebrated Passover, the most important day on Israel’s calendar, with great joy.
Today’s Nourishment: Something grabbed my attention as I read these chapters.
- Adversaries heard of the returned exiles
- Adversaries approached Zerubbabel and other leaders
- Adversaries discouraged the people and made them afraid
- Adversaries bribed counselors to frustrate their purpose
What adversary has popped up to discourage you from your God-plan and purpose? Possibly, the adversary has paralyzed you into fear of moving forward in your God-plan. Have you become frustrated with purpose of life and your God-plan?
Let me encourage you as Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the Jews during their greatest times of attack from their adversaries:
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith…and after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:1 ESV).
The adversary has no power and authority other than the power and authority the Lord allows. He is defeated and attempts to approach us, discourage us, and frustrate us in our purpose and God-plan.
Pray with me: Lord, as I write this devotional blog, I am convicted that I have allowed the enemy, my adversary to approach me, discourage me, and frustrate me in some areas. You are God and I refuse to allow the adversary to play havoc with my life and your plan. I resist the adversary. Forgive me for listening to his lies. My Adversary has lost the battle, while he was exposed at the foot of the cross. I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. I turn to you, Lord, and ask you to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me to live for your glory and in your rest and joy. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!
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Tomorrow’s Delight: Haggai
Carolyn Marlowe, CCLC
Gigi to six adorable grandchildren