Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday - Ezra 6 - Humble Pie

n Ezra 5 we were introduced to Tatnai (the governor) and Shetharboznai.  We read of how they sought to the Persian king Darius in hopes of halting the progress that the Jews were making on their second phase of the building of the temple in Jerusalem. Well, their plan backfired. When Darius' researchers studied the history books, they found that the claims of Zerubbabel and the Jews were legitimate. So, Darius reinforced the original decree of Cyrus. It was a large piece of humble pie that Tatnai and Shetharboznai had to have shoveled down their gullets. Not only were the Jews not prevented from continuing their work, Tat and Shethar had to help them by funding their efforts (Ezra 6:8 & 9). Additionally, as was common in those days (Daniel 6:8 & 12), a severe penalty was decreed upon anyone who opposed or attempted to adjust these favorable words of Darius (Ezra 6:11& 12).

So, the temple was finished (Ezra 6:14) and holy ritualistic worship was restored {6:18). They were even able to restore the Passover ceremony (Ezra 6:20). This is the juncture in the story where we move from historical data to spiritual application. Notice in Ezra 6:21 & 22 how the people participated in the great feast. They were repentant and contrite and grateful. They were even effective witnesses of God's grace among the heathen of the land. There were a number from that crowd who "separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel."

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