“Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.”
The Book of Ezra covers the span of three Babylonian kings. The first king was Cyrus, and it was he who made a proclamation for the temple to be rebuilt. However, Cyrus died and Artaxerxes assumed the throne, and it was he who stopped the rebuilding of the temple. The work on the temple was suspended until the prophets Haggai and Zechariah began to prophesy during the reign of Darius. It was their preaching that stirred the hearts of the people to rebuild the suspended work. A letter was sent to Darius to ask if they should stop the work on the temple. Darius replied, “Let the work of this house of God alone…” It was Darius’ command that allowed the temple to be finished.
Hold on! A big part of this story is missing. You must go to the Book of Daniel to realize that Daniel paid a price for Darius to recognize that his God was the living God. This Darius who commanded the temple to be finished is the same Darius who also commanded Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den. When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, the declaration to finish the temple was not yet given. It was Daniel who paid the price that helped Darius to see that God alone is the living God. It was after this incident that the letter came to Darius about the rebuilding of the temple, and it was after Daniel’s time in the lion’s den that the decree was given. Without Daniel paving the way with the lion’s den, the rebuilding of the temple in the Book of Ezra would not have happened.
Let me remind you that you are walking the paths for which someone before you paid a dear price. Somebody before you sacrificed so that you could attend your church, read the King James Bible, and enjoy the freedom to worship God without the fear of being incarcerated or killed. Somebody before you paid a dear price and paved the way for you to have what you have. Never forget that you are walking on the paths of those who sacrificed their name, blood and life for you to have those old paths.
Moreover, avoid the people who belittle those who paid the price and paved the way for this generation to have the old paths. There are many modern-day Balaam’s who are selling out the heritage of the old paths by condemning those who sacrificed for you to enjoy the blessings of those paths. These modern-day Balaam’s who criticize the past generation and the old paths have done nothing to preserve the paths for the next generation; instead, they belittle and criticize the sacrifice of those who gave them what they have and instead have embraced the critics of the old paths as the heroes and the models to follow. Keep away from those who are willing to belittle the sacrifice of those who paved the way to give you the old paths exactly the way God intended for them to be given to you.
Furthermore, you owe it to those who paved the way for you to sacrifice for the next generation to receive the old paths in the same manner in which you received them. Someone in every generation must be willing to sacrifice for the next generation so they can continue to walk the same old paths that were given to you. Let me encourage to let the sacrifice of those before you motivate you to continue to do whatever it takes so the next generation can enjoy the old paths in the same manner in which they were given to you.