Monday, September 21, 2015

21 September 520 B.C. Getting Up When Down (Haggai 1.4). God in Action, Covenant Promises & People in Action Building the Temple.



21 September 520 B.C.  Getting Up When Down (Haggai 1.4).  God in Action, Covenant Promises & People in Action Building the Temple.
Backstory.
The wickednesses of the Old Testament church were horrific.  Judgment had been in the making.  Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the nation and the Temple. The hubris and doctrinal-worship-piety-disorders of the covenant people had accumulated. Nebuchadnezzare had deported the Jews, or, most of the Old Testament Church, to Babylon.  The Temple lay in ruins.
But wait, can’t we just be Marcionites and dismiss it all, for crying out?
Jeremiah had been forecasting it all, including a 70-year exile.
Jeremiah 29.10, inter alia.

Jeremiah 29:10

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
10 But thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babel, I will visit you, and perform my good promise toward you, and cause you to return to this place.
In 538 B.C., per Cyrus’ decree, humbled believers returned to Israel.  God turns a Persian Emperor’s will.

Ezra 1:2-4

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
Thus saith Cyrus King of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me [a]all the kingdoms of the earth, and he hath commanded me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Who is he among you of all his people with whom his God is? let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel: he is the God, which is in Jerusalem.
And everyone that remaineth in any place (where he sojourneth) [b]let the men of his place relieve him with silver and with gold, and with substance, and with cattle, [c]and with a willing offering, for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

Footnotes:


a.               Ezra 1:2 For he was chief Monarch, and had many nations under his dominion, which this heathen king confesseth to have received of the living God.
b.              Ezra 1:4 If any through poverty were not able to return, the king’s commission was that he should be furnished with necessaries.
c.               Ezra 1:4 Which they themselves should send toward the reparation of the Temple.
Zerubbabel, a Davidic scion, and 50, 000 Jews returned to rebuild the land and Temple.
As usual with reprobates and unbelievers, however, opposition developed to the rebuilding program.  Expect such at all times. In effect, it was taking on the LORD of the covenant promises. 
Ezra 4.4-24.

Ezra 4:4-24

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
Wherefore the people of the land [a]discouraged the people of Judah, and troubled them in building.
And they [b]hired counselors against them, to hinder their devise all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
And in the reign of [c]Ahasuerus (in the beginning of his reign) wrote they an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
And in the days of [d]Artachshashta, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions wrote when it was peace, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia, and the writing of the letter was the Aramites writing, and the thing declared was in the language of the Aramites.
Rehum the [e]chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king, in this sort.
Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions [f]Dinai, and Apharsathcai, Tarpelai, Persia, Archevai, Bablai, Shushanchai, Dehave, Elamai,
10 And the rest of the people whom the great and noble [g]Osnapper brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and other that are beyond the [h]River and [i]Cheeneth.
11 ¶ This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto King Artaxerxes, THY SERVANTS the men beyond the River and Cheeneth, salute thee.
12 Be it known unto the King that the Jews, which came up from thee to us, are come unto Jerusalem (a city rebellious and wicked) and build, and lay the foundations of the walls, and have joined the foundations.
13 Be it known now unto the king, that if this city be built, and the foundations of the walls laid, they will not give toll, tribute, nor [j]custom: so shalt thou hinder the king’s tribute.
14 Now therefore because [k]we have been brought up in the King’s palace, it was not meet for us to see the King’s dishonor: for this cause have we sent and certified the King,
15 That one may search in the book of the Chronicles of thy fathers, and thou shalt find in the book of the Chronicles, and perceive that this city is rebellious and noisome unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition of old time, for the which cause this city was destroyed.
16 We certify the king therefore, that if this city be built, and the foundation of the walls laid, by this means the portion beyond the River shall not be thine.
17 ¶ The King sent an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwelt in Samaria, and unto the other beyond the River, [l]Shelam and [m]Cheeth.
18 ¶ The letter which ye sent unto us, hath been openly read before me,
19 And I have commanded and they have searched, and found, that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and hath rebelled, and rebellion hath been committed therein.
20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all beyond the River, and toll, tribute and custom was given unto them.
21 Make ye now a decree that those men may cease, and that the city be not built, till I have given another commandment.
22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to hurt the king?
23 When the copy of king Artaxerxes’s letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in all the haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and caused them to cease by force and power.
24 Then [n]ceased the work of the house of God, which was in Jerusalem, and did stay unto the second year of Darius king of Persia.

Footnotes:


a.               Ezra 4:4 Hebrew, made their hands weak.
b.              Ezra 4:5 They bribed the governors under the king to hinder their work: Thus they that halt, cannot abide that God should be purely served.
c.               Ezra 4:6 He was also called Artaxerxes, which is a Persian name, some think it was Cambises Cyrus’ son, or Darius, as verse 5.
d.              Ezra 4:7 Called Artaxerxes, which signifieth in the Persian tongue, an excellent warrior.
e.               Ezra 4:8 Or, counselor.
f.                Ezra 4:9 These were certain people which the Assyrians placed in Samaria instead of the ten tribes.
g.               Ezra 4:10 Some think it was Sennacherib, but rather Shalmaneser.
h.              Ezra 4:10 To wit, Euphrates: and he meaneth in respect of Babel that they dwelt beyond it.
i.                 Ezra 4:10 Which were a certain people that envied the Jews.
j.                 Ezra 4:13 Meaning, the gifts that are wont to be given to kings when they pass by any country.
k.               Ezra 4:14 Hebrew, in the Chaldea, we have eaten the salt of the palace.
l.                 Ezra 4:17 Some read for Shalom, salutation or greeting.
m.            Ezra 4:17 Called also Cheeneth, as verse 11.
n.              Ezra 4:24 Not altogether for the Prophets exhorted them to continue, but they used less diligence because of the troubles.

God sends Haggai (Haggai 1.13).  Encouragement comes.

Haggai 1:13


1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
13 Then spake Haggai the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord.
Often, God says, “I am with you” and it is often connected to “Do not be afraid.” When it omits one, it infers the other.
The Call of Moses. Ex. 3.12.

Exodus 3:12


1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
12 And he answered, [a]Certainly I will be with thee: and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee, After that thou hast brought the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

Footnotes:


a.               Exodus 3:12 Neither fear thine own weakness, nor Pharaoh’s tyranny.
The call of Gideon.  Judges 6.16.

Judges 6:16

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
16 Then the Lord said unto him, I will therefore be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites, as one man.
Jeremiah.  Jeremiah 1.8

Jeremiah 1:8

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.

Again, the Word for all of God’s people.  Haggai 1.13.

Haggai 1:13

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
13 Then spake Haggai the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord.
God “sparked” or “stirred” the leaders and the people.

Haggai 1:14

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
14 And the Lord stirred up [a]the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, a prince of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak the high Priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people, and they came, and did the work in the House of the Lord of hosts their God.

Footnotes:


a.               Haggai 1:14 Which declareth that men are inept and dull to serve the Lord, neither can they obey his word or his messengers, before God reform their hearts, and give them new spirits, John 6:44.
Ezra 5.2.

Ezra 5:2

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose, and began to build the house of God at Jerusalem, and with them were the Prophets of God, which [a]helped them.

Footnotes:


a.               Ezra 5:2 Which encouraged them to go forward, and accused them that they were more careful to build their own houses, than zealous to build the Temple of God.

Philippians 2:13

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
13 [a]For it is God which worketh in you both [b]the will and the deed, even of his good pleasure.

Footnotes:


a.               Philippians 2:13 A most sure and grounded argument against pride, for that we have nothing in us praiseworthy but it cometh of the free gift of God, and is without us, for we have no ability or power, so much as to will well (much less to do well) but only of the free mercy of God.
b.              Philippians 2:13 Why then, we are not stocks, but yet we do not will well of nature, but only because God hath made of our naughty will a good will.
Questions:
1.               Does fear of failure stop action?

2.               Fear of rejection by others?

3.               Fear of people?  How about Canterbury and Anglican bishops in relation to the same-sex marital issue in England?  How about 19th-20th century liberals trying to accommodate their own projections of the needs of the populace and popularity?

4.               Fear of small numbers?  How about Rick Warren and Bill Hybels?

5.               Fear and the English Reformers?  Willliam Tyndale? Miles Coverdale? John Knox? John Calvin?

6.               Fear and Scots Covenanters?

7.               Isaiah and his message?  That few would hear or listen to him?  That God would actually cut the three down?

8.               Fear and Jeremiah in jail?  Why not just “go along to get along?”

9.               Amos before Jeroboam’s court? Amos 7?

10.           How does the doctrine of the Trinity and God influence this?

11.           Athanasius and Arianism?

12.           What good hymns obtain?  How Firm a Foundation?  Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-3wMTC8Lq4

13.           The “Church’s One Foundation?”  Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQv4EAwMFoQ 

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