“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” (Haggai 1:14-15, NLT).
Many of the Jewish exiles returned to Judea after Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, issued a decree permitting people who had been conquered and deported by the Babylonians to return to their homelands.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).
I’ve tried to live by this verse for most of my life. It is, in my opinion, one of the best descriptions of what we are to be doing as Christians.
“Then David inquired of the Lord: ‘Should I go to war against the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?’ The Lord replied to David, ‘Go, for I will certainly hand the Philistines over to you.’ So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated them there and said, ‘Like a bursting flood, the Lord has burst out against my enemies before me.’ Therefore, he named that place the Lord Bursts Out. The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.” (2 Samuel 5:19-21, HCSB).
Have you ever had an emotional outburst caused by stress or anger or even joy? In the stories of King David recounted in 2 Samuel 5 and 6, we see this sort of behavior displayed by God.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart'” (1 Samuel 16:7, HCSB).
In 1 Samuel 16:1 God told Samuel to go and anoint David as the new king over Israel. From biblical descriptions, David and Saul had contrasting appearances. Saul was tall and striking in appearance while David was a young boy with a ruddy appearance.
“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NLT).
In these verses God assures Israel of its coming restoration from Babylon’s rule.
While Israel’s deliverance from Babylonian captivity would be similar to its deliverance from Egyptian bondage, God was going to do a much greater thing.
“Then Peter began to speak: “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.” (Acts 10:34, HCSB)
A Roman military commander by the name of Cornelius lived in the city of Caesarea in the region of Samaria north of Judea. Although Cornelius was not a Jew, he worshiped God in the custom of the Jews.Cornelius had a vision to request the Apostle Peter, who was staying in the city of Joppa about 50 miles away, to come to his home.
“My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” Jesus makes these remarks near the well in the Samaritan village of Sychar. Jesus had just told a Samaritan woman who was drawing water from the well that she should drink from the living water that He gives. She went and told the people of the village that Jesus was the Messiah and many came to see him and believed in Him. While all this was occurring, some of Jesus’s disciples urged Him to eat. Just as Jesus told the woman at the well He was the source of life-giving water, He told His disciples He was the source of life-giving food: “I have a kind of food you know nothing about” (vs. 32). So Jesus can supply spiritual nourishment for the hungry souls of people. Furthermore, Jesus is our model for obtaining spiritual sustenance. He, Himself, was spiritually sustained by doing the will of God and finishing God’s work in His life. In the same way, our spiritual nourishment should be doing the will of God in our own lives to the extent that we complete the work that God intends each of us to do. When Jesus fed the five thousand men (plus women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish, He commanded His disciples “You feed them” (Matthew 14:16). The disciples responded that they had only a small supply of of bread and fish. “Bring them here” (Matthew 14:18) Jesus told the disciples. Jesus was prepared to miraculously provide nourishment for the large crowd of people by blessing the obedient action of His disciples. When you continuously offer the little that you have to Jesus, then you are enabled and empowered to do God’s will and complete the work He plans to do through your life.