"Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."
(Ezra 1:2 KJV)
Our Awesome God started the rebuilding of Jerusalem with a visit to Cyrus king of Persia, which included Judah at the time (Ezra 1 tells of the preparation to go). Sheshbazzar, a son of the exiled king Jechoniah, was appointed governor of Judah by Cyrus (Ezra 5:14) and with his nephew, Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2), led the first group of exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. They took with them money and all the vessels of the Temple (Ezra 1:8, 11) which Nebuchadnezzar had taken (2 Kings 24:13). When they got there, they laid the foundation of the Temple (Ezra 5:16). Note that Sheshbazzar was about 60 years old when they left for Jerusalem. He died shortly after arriving and Zarubbabel was appointed governor of Judah (Ezra 5:1-2).
It took 23 years to complete the temple, including a space of 6 years that the next king of Persia told them to stop building (This was Esther's king, Ahasuerus, sometimes called Artaxerxes). Later Ezra went to Jerusalem to teach the people the law and establish judges (Ezra 7:8,10).
Then, 58 years later, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. (Nehemiah 2:1) It took 12 years before he went back to king Artaxerxes (not Ahasuerus) in Babylon (Nehemiah 2:6). When he returned to Jerusalem it was as governor and he reorganized the government according to Mosaic Law (Nehemiah 12:26). In Nehemiah 12, Zerubbabel and Ezra brought priests and Levites to dedicate the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem.
It took about 93 years to rebuild the walls and the Temple before the people began rebuilding their houses, but through all the problems and delays, nobody gave up. Our Awesome God had His people chosen to help accomplish His purpose of rebuilding His Temple and city. He supplied different people with different skills for different parts of the task and they did it all in Our Awesome God’s sequence and timing.
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and Worship Service at (10:30 AM) Then again Sunday evening (6:00 PM) for Bible Study along with the children’s AWANA clubs, which run until 7:30 PM. Wednesday evening (7:00 PM) there is Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. When you come, ask about the Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God!
"In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts."
(Haggai 2:23 KJV)
Zerubbabel was Our Awesome God's choice for the man to be in charge of getting Jerusalem rebuilt during the last of Israel's captivity in Babylon. As a descendent of King David, (1 Chronicles 3:10-19) he might have been king except for a curse placed on his grandfather, king Jeconiah, by God (Jeremiah 36:29-30). According to their custom, the Persian kings made him governor of Judea (Haggai 1:1) for the purpose of rebuilding the temple.
Zerubbabel understood that his assignment was Our Awesome God's work, ordered and supported by the king of Persia, and that he had responsibilities to both. When local leaders seeking to hinder the progress asked to join in the work, Zerubbabel said, "No!" (Ezra 4:1-4). He knew that God had ordained the sons of David to build the temple (1 Chronicles 11-12). When the king of Persia banned work on the temple, he stopped the work until the ban was lifted six years later. Under a patient and persistent Zerubbabel, the slow and painstaking work on the temple continued through local opposition and royal decree. In all, it took 23 years to finish rebuilding just the temple.
Zerubbabel was one of Our Awesome God's silent heroes. He didn't win a war. He didn't write a book. He just finished the job as best he could and in compliance with the applicable laws. How do you approach God's work? Do you do your best work and wait patiently for God to give the results? Are you satisfied with having completed a job for God, even when there is no recognition by people? Zerubbabel did what God wanted without public recognition.
Come join us in our church as we seek the will of God and work to expand His kingdom. There is always a need for Christian teachers and new ideas in presenting Our Awesome God to others so that all may hear the Word of the Lord correctly.
LWBC is a Bible believing church that tries to live Jesus Christ's commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV) Join us this Sunday as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard to tell everyone about Jesus Christ and His salvation. We start with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour along with a children's program called AWANA until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and Bible Study along with a separate Spanish Bible Study until 8:00 PM. We love visitors!
"But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up… And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace."
(Daniel 3:18, 20 KJV)
This story of Our Awesome God's chosen people continued while the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon with King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:1-3). The king had made a golden image and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Those that wouldn't bow down to it were to be thrown into the fiery furnace according to the law he signed. The Chaldean astrologers, jealous of the captive Israelites who had found favor with the king, told him that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would not bow down to the golden image. They had not bowed down to it and they told the king they wouldn't which made the king very angry (Daniel 3:19).
Furious with pride and rage, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than normal. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound and cast into the flames. The fiery blast was so hot it killed the soldiers who had escorted them. But as King Nebuchadnezzar peered into the furnace, he marveled at what he saw: "... Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (Daniel 3:25 KJV) Then the king ordered them out of the furnace and when they did come out they didn't even have the smell of smoke nor was anything burned on them. King Nebuchadnezzar declared their God to be the one true God and that day they got freedom for all within the king's boundaries to worship Our Awesome God.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three young men determined to worship only the One true God. In the face of death they stood firm, unwilling to compromise their beliefs and faith in God. They had no assurance they would survive the flames, but they stood firm anyway.
Their story in the Bible speaks a strong word of encouragement, especially to young men and women of today. Thank Our Awesome God that they faithfully worshiped Him. How strong is your faith in God?
If you are a Christian who has strayed away from Our Awesome God or someone who has never been a Christian or a person who needs to help minister to others, join us at Living Word Baptist Church on Sunday at 9:30 AM for Bible Study and at 10:30 AM for Praise/Worship Service. At 6:00 PM Sunday evening, we have a Bible Study with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. We welcome all people and love them!
Flo & Bill