GOD will ACCOMPLISH His WORK through OUR LIVES
May 18 Bible Reading: Nehemiah Chapters 4-6
"So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God." (Nehemiah 6:15-16)
After the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians about 586 B.C., the prominent people of Judah were carried away as captives and resettled in the pagan city of Babylon. When the Babylonians were overthrown by the Persians about 70 years later, the stage was set for God’s people to return to their beloved homeland. God was about to accomplish His work through different sets of people that He had prepared for the rebuilding work.
There were actually three separate groups of Jewish citizens who made the return from Babylon and Persia to Jerusalem. Each of these groups had a specific job to accomplish, and they were all initiated, guided, inspired and strengthen by God.
- The first group of Jewish exiles, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, returned about 525 B.C. to rebuild the temple about 61 years after its destruction. The temple was rebuilt with a great deal of efforts and the work was completed about 515 B.C., in about 10 years’ time. This temple was dedicated with great celebration and rejoicing by the Jewish people (Ezra 6:15–22).
- The second group of Jewish exiles, under the leadership of Ezra the priest, returned to Jerusalem about 458 B.C. Ezra’s job assignment was to reestablish the Law as the basis of Jewish life. In a special assembly in the city of Jerusalem, Ezra read from the Law and challenged the people to follow the Lord’s teachings (Nehemiah 8:1–12).
- The third group of Jewish exiles, under the leadership of Nehemiah, returned to Jerusalem about 444 B.C. Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem and the gates that were destroyed in the fire. In spite of continued opposition from their enemies, Nehemiah rallied and encouraged the people so effectively that the entire project was completed in just 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15).
Let us understand today that God has laid for each one of us a specific work that we have to accomplish in our lives. Just like God assigned specific leaders like Zerubbabel to reconstruct the temple, Ezra to restore the worship and Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem, God has assigned us with specific tasks that we have to discern through prayer and meditating in His Word daily. God will accomplish the work that He has already started in our lives!