|Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah|
The Lord moved on Cyrus, King of Persia, to allow the Jews to go build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. They returned with gold, silver, cattle, valuables, along with the treasures of the old temple. They began to build the temple, but some people wrote letters to the king and had the work stopped until the reign of King Darius. When the prophets prophesied they began to rebuild the temple. The governor asked what authority they had to rebuild and when told it was Cyrus, he sent a letter to Darius asking to search the records and see if its true that Cyrus issued the decree. It was, and he was told not to interfere, and to give them whatever they needed. After the temple was built, Ezra, a descendant of Aaron and a skilled scribe in the law of Moses, came from Babylon by order of the new king Artexerxes to set up judges and magistrates in the land to judge and teach the people according to the laws of God.
- The Lord can move on the heart of captors--those who appear as an enemy--to bring freedom.
- He will fulfill His word spoken through His prophets.
- Rise. Return. Rebuild. Rejoice. Refuse.
- Refuse to compromise with the enemy who led to the cause of the exile in the first place.
- Let the prophets prophesy and let the builders build.
- By decree of the King of kings and Lord of lords, rebuild the house of God.
- Rebuild His dwelling place. Draw from the royal treasuries of the king to do so.
- Pray, Worship, Celebrate, and take your place to maintain the work of the Lord.
- Let the skilled scribes arise and take their place.
- Appoint magistrates and judges to teach the people according to the law of God.
- Before any great and potentially dangerous mission, seek the Lord.
- Make sure you have what and who you need for the work and service to God.
- Entrust the valuables to the faithful and honorable people.
- When it seems as if all is lost, cry out to God with repentance and fasting. He will make a way.
Nehemiah asked visitors from Judah the condition of those who survived the captivity and was told their distress. Nehemiah wept, fasted, prayed, repented and reminded God of His word. He was the king's cupbearer and asked permission to go and rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. It was given. Enemies tried to stop the building of the wall. They mocked, threatened harm, made false accusations. The people continued to build the wall by day and guard by night. Nehemiah found the ancestral book of the exiles from Babylon. The people had become indebted, borrowed, and became slaves because of the famine. Nehemiah stopped the usury and restored the people to their land. The people were hungry for the words of the Law. Ezra read and the Levites explained. They wept with fasting and repentance and made a covenant with God to keep His law. They celebrated the Feast of Booths. the people settled in and around Jerusalem.
- Seek to know the condition of God's people. If there is distress, seek God on their behalf.
- Ask permission of the King. Tell Him your desires. Ask for the authority and resources.
- Go, and do the work of restoration.
- Don't listen to the mockers. Build the wall.
- Don't listen to threats. Build and guard.
- Don't fall for the enemies schemes to draw you away to do harm, to bring subtle fear, to send false prophets.
- Be alert. perceive.
- Take care of your brothers and sisters. Help them. Free them.
- Don't enslave them or use them for gain.
- Know your bloodline and serve as He has called, ordained, and placed you.
- Recognize the need to know the Word of God. His Law. His covenant towards you.
- Hunger for His Word. Seek understanding of it. Seek out those who can explain it.
- Surrender to His Word. Submit to it. Do it.
- Study, learn and proclaim the history which brought you to where you are today.
- Make the necessary sacrifices to keep His Word.
- Give. Tithe.
- Churches--keep the Law of God. Honor the tithe as He commands.
- Obey the laws of God whether there is a leader there to guide you or not.
- Be the leader. Take initiative.
- Do what's right when no one is looking.
- Stay faithful. Be consistent.
- Teach your children to do the same.
- Remain a people set apart for the Lord continually.
King Ahasuerus reigned over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. His queen, Vashti, disrespected him so he wanted a new queen. Esther, a Jew, was chosen. Her cousin Mordecai had raised her. Haman was appointed by the king over all princes. He hated Mordecai because he wouldn't bow to him. He plotted to kill Mordecai and all the Jews. He got the king to sign a decree that they could all be killed and plundered on a certain day. Esther risked her life to approach the king without being called. She asked to meet with him and Haman at a banquet. In the meantime Haman built gallows and was going to ask the king to hang Mordecai on it. But that night, the king couldn't sleep so he read from the record book and found out Mordecai had once stopped a plot to murder him and he had never been honored. The king asked Haman what to do if he wanted to honor a man. Haman thought he was talking about him so he told him what he thought, but then the king told him to do what he had just said for Mordecai. Then Esther told the king about Haman's plot to kill the Jews which included her and Mordecai. Haman was hanged on the gallows he built. The king set Mordecai over Haman's house and he sent out a decree that the Jews could defend themselves on the day appointed to slaughter them. They did and the two days of Purim are celebrated to remember.
- Stay true to the Lord. Bow only to Him.
- The enemy will use his power, position, and influence to try and harm you. Fast, pray and be courageous.
- God will make a way.
- The beauty, kindness, and integrity of a people will position them so when the time comes, God's deliverance is already set in place.
- Be humble and do what's right.
- See the plan God gives you through to the end.