When we build upon God’s word, it always unfolds into a bigger story
The mighty Spirit of Lord Yahweh is wrapped around me because Yahweh has anointed me, as a messenger to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted, to tell captives, “You are free,” and to tell prisoners, “Be free from your darkness.” 2 I am sent to announce a new season of Yahweh’s grace and a time of God’s recompense on his enemies to comfort all who are in sorrow, 3 to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion - to give them a beautiful bouquet in the place of ashes, the oil of bliss instead of tears, and the mantle of joyous praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. Because of this, they will be known as Mighty Oaks of Righteousness, planted by Yahweh as a living display of his glory. 4 They will rebuild ruins from long ago and restore what was long devastated. They will renew ruined cities and desolations of past generations. Isaiah 61:1-4 (TPT)
EZRA-NEHEMIAH -> Bibleproject link below:
Isaiah Context written before the exile but with a promise of hope.
A Story of rebuilding - over 80 years or so.
- Zerrubabel REBUILDS the temple
- Nehemiah RESTORES the defences - the wall
- Ezra RENEWS the peoples covenant / commitment to God
Q1: What is God wanting to rebuild / restore / renew IN me?
Q2: What is God wanting to rebuild / restore / renew THROUGH me?
1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”5 Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem. Ezra 1:1-5 (ESV)
3 things God does: God speaks, God stirs God sends
3 things we can expect: Transition, Opposition, Provision
1/ God speaks
God ALWAYS does what he says - it is His very nature to speak
Just because it may not match your timeline doesn’t mean it’s not true
2/ God stirs
God stirs things in our hearts, inspires, moves us - not our own ambition!
Hag 1:14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4
What are the things that move you? The stir compassion and conviction in you don’t ignore what God may be doing in your heart. If you are feeling nothing, get into the presence of God and pray, God break my heart for what breaks yours.
3/ God sends
There is always an invitation to go.
Zerubabbel volunteered. Ezra got sent. Nehemiah asked to go.
Not everyone will go… why?
Comfort: A great tree - symbolizes strength, might (or mighty men), stability, conviction, uprightness, resoluteness. Don’t be a bonsai, get out of the pot, commit to something, put roots down!
Calling To be saved is to be sent.You are already called - Question is not are you called its how are you living out your calling
Comparison Churches are pushing back the gates of hell NOT because God calls superstars, because Jesus is head of the church and because he calls people that are disappointing! - he’s not interested in your ability, just your availability!
Seek to serve God wholeheartedly then you won’t need to compare your work with any one else
When you say YES...
1/ Expect: Transition
A move out of a comfort zone! Some hard work. Some uncertainty. Some challenges.
2/ Expect: Opposition
There will be opposition - discouragement, distraction, division...
3/ Expect: Provision
God provides miraculous favour from unlikely places G
Ezra 6:8; Ezra 7:6 Nehemiah 2:8; Zechariah 4:6; Nehemiah 6:16
Ask BIG: Nehemiah got 12 years leave, funding / security detail. a promotion & an allowance. Ezra got everything he asked for. Zerubabbel got funded from the enemy's treasury!
When God calls us to build, he provides the plan, the material, the labour, the protection, the progress and the end result.
What is God calling you to build?
This story is not just a history or leadership lesson, but a symbol of God’s plan of redemption. Even though- the temple was rebuilt, - The walls were restored- the covenant was renewed people still turned to evil ways… !!
God spoke of a NEW covenant in Jer 31:31-34
Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them. Ezra 5:1-2 (ESV)
-Haggai means "festive"
-Zechariah means "Jehovah remembers"
Zerubbabel means "planted in babylon"
-Jeshua means "he is saved"
Be festive, Jehovah remembers. The one who is planted in Babylon is saved. This is the GOSPEL MESSAGE! And there is more...
-Haggai / Zechariach were prophets - proclaim and reveal the word of God
-Jeshua was the priest to offers the sacrifice for sin and intercede for the people
-Zerubbabel was the grandson of King Jehoiachin of Judah (1 Chronicles 3:17) and therefore a descendant of David, the governor, the authority
Prophet Priest & King all had a role in the rebuilding of the temple, the place where people could approach God.
Prophet: Jesus is the revelation of word of God proclaiming salvation
Priest: Jesus himself was the sacrifice and intercedes before the father
King: governmental authority, fought the battle against sin, and rules so that sin can’t reign over us
Jesus - the one who perfectly rebuilds / restores / renews with inexhaustible grace!