Ezra Part Two Dive
THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT TIME
There is a double sided encouragement in the Book of Ezra: one for those who need teams and one for those who have gifts. The Book of Ezra is an encouragement for leaders who are trying to build something, that the right people will be there at the right time and God knows what you need. So if you are leader reading this book, take this encouragement to heart. Highlight and study how God brought all the right people to help with the building of His house and be encouraged – God will do the same for you.
The second encouragement that is that you are gifted for a reason. I love that each need is met by the people that were there. God gifted the people beforehand to help with the building, all they needed to do was ‘see the need and fill the need’. In your church there is a you-shaped hole in a team, and only you can fill it! It is by each person doing their part that the temple is built. Each person is gifted in different areas to fill the different gaps; some are kings to make the edicts, some are leaders to rally the people, some are builders or carpenters, some are Ezra’s men, who know the Law and can teach the people. They are all specifically gifted for their roles!
GOD BRINGS THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Eph. 4:16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
In the previous Dive, we discovered that Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel were all involved in the beginning part of rebuilding the temple. Because of these men of God, the King of Persia, Cyrus, stepped into his place to give the edict for the people to go back to Jerusalem. The right king at the right time – exactly seventy years after the people came into exile, as was informed of the will of God. Coincidence? I think not!
What about the people’s generosity in Chapter 2:68, giving according to their ability? Then the priests, the Levites, the musicians, the gatekeepers and the temple servants all came and settled in their hometowns in Chapter 2:70. Even before the temple was restored, the people with the gifts were ready to serve. God is preparing your people, your leaders for your churches and your businesses. They are in your midst, they are ready, just call them in.
Even though the book is called Ezra, he doesn’t appear in the story until Chapter 7, so the next focal people are found in Chapter 3: Joshua, son of Jozadak, and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and his associates. These are the men that began the rebuilding of the altar in Chapter 3, under the edict of King Cyrus.
But wait, there's more! Chapter 3:7 talks about masons and carpenters, the people of Sidon and Tyre who brought the cedar logs, the Levites to supervise the building, the builders, the priests all did their part! In Chapter 5, Haggai and Zechariah the prophets began to prophesy. The rebuilding of the temple had been stopped for seventeen years, then the right people at the right time (Haggai and Zechariah) began to prophesy to stir the people again. Because of these incredible prophets, Joshua and Zerubbabel began their work again. Ezra 5:2 says, ‘And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them’. Who would have thought that prophets were needed in rebuilding the temple?
In Chapter 7, we find Ezra is the next piece in the puzzle. Where did Ezra come from? Babylon. Again, in the midst of what they thought was total abandonment from God (exile), God had a plan! While Ezra was in Babylon, he was being trained by God.
Ez 7:6 This Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given. The king granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him.
TAKE COURAGE, GOD HAS A PLAN
No matter where we find ourselves, we have to remember that that the hand of God is on us! Imagine Ezra in Babylon, with the stirring of God on him to study the Law of Moses, not sure why, not sure who he was going to teach because the people of God were scattered. Perhaps he was content in teaching the small group he had at that moment, but God had bigger plans! He just had to be obedient in the small and get ready, because one day, this teacher was going to be called out by the King of Persia. It took him four months to journey back to Jerusalem (Chapter 7:9) but read Chapter 7 and the favour of God on this incredible man. There is a time and a place that you are getting ready for. You may be hidden right now having no idea what you are preparing for, but take heart! You, like Ezra, will be called to be a part of all God is doing, just keep getting ready!
Ez. 7:28 Because the hand of the LORD my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.
Be encouraged as you read Ezra. Highlight all the people involved in the building, the kings, the builders. Even though the enemies send people to stop the building, God sends His prophets! God provided the people to complete His work, the building of the temple and He will provide the people to build your church or help with your mission or your business. Don’t lose heart. Read Ezra as an encouragement that the right people will be there just at the right time, God is faithful. Or read that you are an answer to someone’s prayer, step into your role – you are favoured and gifted to do it! You will have favour with kings and government just at the right time! You will build what God is calling you to! Be encouraged by Ezra today!