(22 verses, 2:o7 to read)
What I am about to READ
- The Temple is Finished and Received with Joy by Many, Even Those who were not Ethnically Jewish
- 1-5: After King Darius received the letter from Tattenai, he begins to search out for the truth of its contents. A decree was made to find the document written by Cyrus. It was found. The house was to be rebuilt and paid for out of the royal treasury.
- Let us pray: Lord, we give thanks for faithful government officials that seek the truth. Make all who have authority desire the truth and protect them from bribery and vainglory. Hear our prayer for those who protect our freedom to practice and receive what we hear from Your Word.
- 6-12: Darius responds to Tattenia to the letter and follows through on Cyrus’ document and attaches more promises and threats to it. Darius will even pay for the animals, wheat, etc., for the burnt offerings. Anyone who did not obey the decree would be impaled on a beam. Note the split confession of Darius. He never proclaims his confession of the true God nor does he desire to receive from the Lord His gifts in the temple or pray to Him, but he does desire prayers and sacrifices be made on his behalf (10) while he protects the Lord’s people and provides money and resources for the temple. Confusing stuff. Thanks be to God and we hope the prayers made for him for his full conversion were met with an ever softer heart from Darius.
- Lord God, the Apostle you sent to preach only Christ, crucified – the Son of God Himself impaled on the beam of a Roman Cross for the sake of forgiveness for all people, all nation, all tribes – also called for us to pray for all people, including “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way (1 Timothy 2).” Hear our for all in high positions. Amen.
- 13-18: The temple is finished and dedicated. Note especially the blessing God gave through His Word – ” 14 And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.” The people received God’s Word and gifts with joy and set priests back in the good order God instituted, for the service of God.
- Lord Jesus, grant my heart the true joy it should have to hear Your Word and receive Your Sacrament from the man you have given me for the sake of love and order.
- 19-22: The first Passover is celebrated in the new Temple. The priests received purity and cleansing from God and in turn acted on behalf of the returned exiles and their fellow priests in the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. Note here, don’t miss it!!! the little phrase “and also by every one who had joined them and separated himself from the uncleanness of the peoples o the land.” God’s institutions of family and government were always meant to bless all nations. So also, the institution of the Church! Here, those who were not ethnically Jewish received the Lamb’s gifts and cleansing.
- Lord Jesus, the true Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us and grant us Your peace. Through Your blood, I am pure and clean. I have been received into Your family and am a child of God. Hear also my prayer for those still bound by sin and devil, that they might receive freedom from You, the Son, and themselves be adopted by Your Father and cry to Him with me, “Abba! Our Father, who art in heaven…..”
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Christopher Stout, Pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC & Abundant Life Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC