A Bible-believing evangelical church in the village of Wellington, near Hereford and Leominster.

Thought for the Day – 133

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Preached during the morning service on 1 August 2020 by .


Sermon Notes

E V A N G E L I C A L WELLINGTON CHAPEL

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
DAY 133

Ezra 5:5 — ‘But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so
that they could not make them cease till a report could go to Darius.’

Recommended reading: Nehemiah 4

We continue to look at the words, ‘But God.’
This morning we turn to the book of Ezra which opens with Cyrus, the king of
Persia, announcing that, under the direction of the God of Heaven, a temple is to
be built in Jerusalem.
In chapter 2, under the leadership of Zerubbabel 49,897 people returned to their
homeland.
In chapter 3 we are told that within seven months, the worship of the true and
only God had been restored. Then after two years the rebuilding of the House of
the Lord commenced.
When God’s work progresses, you can be sure the enemies of the Lord will find
some means to hinder it.
In chapter 4 the adversaries approached Zerubbabel and cunningly suggested
that they also become involved with the rebuilding, as they too want to serve
and follow God.
Wisely, Zerubbabel was alert to their craftiness and made it clear that they alone
would rebuild just as Cyrus had instructed.
The enemies of God did not take his reply too well and soon opposition became
apparent.
In verse 4, they first discouraged the people. In verse 5, they hired counsellors to
frustrate them.
Finally, they wrote to Ahasuerus, who succeeded Cyrus, accusing the inhabitants
of Judah and Jerusalem of rebellion by not paying taxes to the king’s treasury.
At the same time they played up to the king by assuring him of their continued
loyalty and support. The king replied assuring them that a search of the archives
would be made and the work on the House of the Lord would cease until the
details were found.
No work was done until the second year of King Darius. When the work resumed
(5:2) it didn’t take long for Tattenai, the Governor of the region beyond the
Euphrates, to challenge Zerubbabel about the resumption of the work.
Then we come to v.5: ‘But the eye of God was upon [them]’ – to enable them to
proceed with the work.
Eventually, in chapter 6, Darius confirmed the decree of King Cyrus and the work
proceeded without further delay.
Despite all that had happened to God’s people, His eye was upon them. The
opposition was clearly aiming to prevent any further rebuilding.
Remember, God will not let His work stop indefinitely. Delays, yes –
abandonments, no.
Let us take encouragement from this event in Israel’s history.
There are times when the enemies of God oppose, frustrate and discourage
us. But God has His eye constantly directed towards His people to help them,
despite the enemy’s plans to oppose the work.
God’s overall plan will come to pass and succeed despite the opposition. He will
never be thrown off track.

O Church, arise, and put your armour on;
Hear the call of Christ our Captain.
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth,
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies;
An army bold, whose battle-cry is Love,
Reaching out to those in darkness.

Our call to war, to love the captive soul
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole,
We will fight with faith and valour.
When faced with trials on every side
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died,
An inheritance of nations.

Come see the cross, where love and mercy meet,
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This victory march continues till the day
Every eye and heart shall see Him.

So Spirit, come put strength in every stride,
Give grace for every hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
© 2004 Thankyou Music
CCLI – 1050955

Pastor: Kristian Dimond 01432 830002 07810 442523 pastor@wellingtonec.org.uk
Elders: John Roberts 01432 830100 jokaroberts@gmail.com
Keith Weber 01568 611251 07436 005561 keith.smallprint@gmail.com
Wellington Evangelical Chapel, Wellington, Hereford HR4 8AX www.wellingtonec.org.uk Reg Charity No 233810
THE THOUGHT FOR THE DAY IS PREPARED BY JOHN ROBERTS