Today we are going to look at a few Scriptures that show that God is the one who starts something in people. He is the one who energizes and gives us direction to do something good. He is the who has the plan and who makes His plan known to His servants.
We will begin by looking at God’s power in the Book of Ezra. The Book of Ezra talks about the Jews and how they went back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. They Jews were in exile because they had disobeyed God and God allowed the Persian empire to destroy their city and their Temple. We read in Ezra 1: “He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this law in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom.”
It was God who worked in the heart of King Cyrus of Persia. It was God who moved in the king’s heart and made him write a law in 538 BC that allowed the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. It says that God “stirred” the heart of Cyrus. God make do anything through anyone anytime He wants.
We read in Ezra 1:5-6: “Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the LORD. And all their neighbors assisted by giving them articles of silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock. They gave them many valuable gifts in addition to all the voluntary offerings.”
We see that it was God who moved in the heart of the king. It was God who moved in the hearts of the priests and Levites. It was God who moved in the hearts of the people to give to the ministry of rebuilding the Temple.
In Ezra 3:1 we see that the people of Jerusalem are in unity with one another in the work of the Lord. We read: “In early autumn, when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose.”
The people chose to obey the Lord. They believed in the vision He had given. He supplied their financial needs and the resources they needed to rebuild the Temple. They met together with one purpose, which was to rebuild the Temple, and they were in unity because of the purpose they shared.
In Ezra 7:27-28 we read how Ezra was very happy at what God was doing. We read: “Praise the LORD, the God of our ancestors, who made the king want to beautify the Temple of the LORD in Jerusalem! And praise him for demonstrating such unfailing love to me by honoring me before the king, his council, and all his mighty nobles! I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the LORD my God was on me. And I gathered some of the leaders of Israel to return with me to Jerusalem.” God’s hand was on Ezra. Moving him, protecting him, and guiding him.
In Ezra 8:18 we read about God’s hand helping was in Ezra’s life by sending him someone to help him in the work. We read: “Since the gracious hand of our God was on us, they sent us a man named Sherebiah, along with eighteen of his sons and brothers. He was a very astute man and a descendant of Mahli, who was a descendant of Levi son of Israel.”
Let us move over to the Book of Haggai. God was also at work in Haggai speaking through him to the Israelites about rebuilding the Temple. Haggai was a prophet who lived around the time of Ezra. We read in Haggai 1:3: “Then the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai.” God goes on to tell Haggai that the Israelites need to complete the building of the Temple. They started to rebuild the Temple through Ezra, but then they stopped. So, God shook them up and motivated them again to finish it through Haggai.
We read in Haggai 1:14-15: “So the LORD sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, on September 21 of the second year of King Darius’s reign.”
And lastly, in Acts chapter 8:26-27 we see that God is now at work through His servants by using the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to them and move them. We read in Acts 8:26-27: “As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So, he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia.” He told the Ethiopian about Jesus. He told him that Jesus died on the cross for his sins. The Ethiopian put his faith in Jesus and was baptized.
As we end this study let us be encouraged. God is the one who is at work in our hearts and minds. He is the one moving in us to do what He is calling us to do. He is stirring in our hearts to reach Somalis for Christ. He is the one sending people to help. He is the one sending in the finances. This is His work. This is His doing. He is working in us to be labourers in His field. Let us keep working together so that we will see a great harvest of souls.