The Battle for the Blessing (Week 6), Message notes 2.11.24

“The Battle for the Blessing”

Ezra & Nehemiah Series Week #6

February11th 2024

Ezra Chapter 3

Welcome to our first series of 2024!

We have called this series “The Battle for the Blessing”

· We must contend every day for the fruit of God’s blessings.

Last week we looked at an accounting of everyone who left in the first wave of return east to Jerusalem…

· We talked about the historical and cultural importance of a restored temple, and what that would mean to God’s people.

The last verse of chapter two found this special remnant dispersed and head to their ancestral cities…

· Ezra 2:70


These hand-picked “keepers of the Temple” have been back in their homelands for seven months already.

· They have been busy, rebuilding their homes and lives.

The seventh month is not just chosen by random though…

· Ezra 3:1

What is the significance of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar?

· This would’ve been September/October of 537 BC

o On the Hebrew calendar, this month is called Tisri

The first day of the seventh month signaled the beginning of the traditional feast of tabernacles

· Deuteronomy 16:13-15

As they begin the process of rebuilding Solomons Temple, remembering their deliverance from exile in Babylon, they look back at when this feast was instituted by God…

· Right after their deliverance in the “First Exodus”

o Read Leviticus 23 for more

The Feast of tabernacles was also celebrated on another significant occasion: When Solomons Temple was dedicated and the Ark of the Covenant was placed inside…

· 1 Kings 8:1-2

This was a logical and significant time to begin the work!

· Ezra 3:2

o So, we have a new “ruler” and a new High Priest…

It’s time to get down to business!

· Ezra 3:3-5

NOTE: Until you try to step up and take authority over what God has blessed you with, your enemies will leave you alone!

· When you begin to claim that blessing and walk in it, you will find out who your enemies are.

They begin the process of rebuilding the Temple in earnest…

· Ezra 3:6-8

When the foundation was finished, it was time to celebrate!

· Ezra 3:10-11

But, on this occasion not everyone was celebrating…

· Ezra 3:12

The temple had been destroyed less than a full generation ago, and some of the elder men had seen it, and all of its glory…

1. They were hoping that this structure would restore their capital city too, the prominence that it deserved!

2. This new temple was going to be nowhere near as spectacular as Solomons temple before it was destroyed!

3. The Shekinah glory of God was gone with the now-missing Ark of the Covenant

God had to offer these men encouragement in a message delivered through the prophet Haggai…

· Haggai 2:3-9

If you have been paying attention to the previous chapters, and to this one, you will see that God is always faithful to fulfill his promises.

· If you see that God has been faithful to you, but you are not happy in the way that he did it, you may be afflicted by a spirit of pride!

o Pride is a demon spirit meant to make you an instrument of spreading discontent and dissatisfaction

o Pride can trick you into thinking that you know better than God

Matthew Henry said this: “Let not the remembrance of former afflictions drown the sense of present mercies.”

· God doesn’t want you to look back and what was, but to be content with what is…

I look at our world today, and how tempting to think that God has forgotten us, or is punishing us.

· Letting us reap the consequences of our sins…

2 Chronicles 7:13-14

· When is the last time you repented and humbled yourself before the Sovereign God?

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