I find these chapters so interesting! As soon as they are obeying God to continue in the rebuilding of the Temple and are working diligently and making rapid progress, opposition rears its ugly head yet again. This time it is in the form of the Governor of Trans-Euphrates, Tattenai. I prefer to call him Governor Tattle Tale. When he and his cohorts Sheth-Bozenai and their associates came to see what was going on they made it personal to those leading the rebuilding. They asked who authorized them to rebuild and ask for their names.
I love what we learn about our God in verse 5! “But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply was received.” The eye of their God was watching over them! Thank you Lord that you always have your eye on us. You don’t miss a thing! Thank you that when opposition rears its head we can trust you are watching closely and will intervene as you will. Thank you that there is no opposition greater than you! Thank you that when you give us a task to do for you we can trust you will take care of any opposition we might face in carrying it out.
Governor Tattle Tale then shot off a letter to the King naming them personally but to his defense he did tell the King what the men had said and their claims to have permission from King Cyrus. Somehow I don’t think they believed they had been given permission and the recount of what they said sounded pretty far fetched. But what they said was true and chapter 6 tells us that King Darius had a search made of the archives and found a memorandum stating what they had said was true. Not only did they have permission to build but were to have the gold and silver items returned to the temple that were stolen by Nebuchadnezzar.
King Darius tells Governor Tattle Tale to “stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the Governor of the Jews and the Jewish Elders rebuild this house of God on its site.” But then he goes even further…he tells him what he is to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God:
- Pay the expenses of the men fully out of the royal treasury from the Governor’s revenues so the work will not stop.
- Give them daily, without fail, as they request, what they need in the way of animals, oil, wheat, salt and wine to do the sacrifices.
In these chapters we see what our God does with opposition. He absolutely has control over anyone or anything that comes against his purposes. Finally after 22 years the Temple rebuild is completed and we see the people celebrate with joy. In 6:22 they say God filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the King of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God the God of Israel.
Today I add to who my God is with changer of attitudes. He has so often changed my attitude about people or things but I can count on Him to also change the attitudes of others if it is His will to do so. He is able and He will if it is going to bring about His purposes and plans. What did you learn from Ezra 5 & 6? I would love to hear it. When we read God’s Word and then share it with each other we all grow.
After 22 years they complete the rebuilding of the Temple. The story isn’t finished yet. We continue on with chapter 7 next time. Blessings to you my sweet friends! See you soon as we grow in knowing God!