Scripture text: Ezra Chapter 5 Preacher: Rev David Sutherland Date: 15 June 2014
This is the fifth of a series of sermons on the theme “Building up the house of God”.
Ezra Chapter 4 closed on a low note. The returning exiles, discouraged by local opposition, had abandoned the work of rebuilding the temple. When Chapter 5 opens (about 15 years later), all that has changed. Challenged by God through His prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the Jewish people have resumed construction of the temple, and this time are not to be put off by the continuing opposition. Another letter is dispatched to the king by the regional authorities, which outlines the factors impelling the Jews to rebuild the temple. The response of the king is not revealed until Chapter 6.
The sermon draws a clear parallel between the events recorded in Ezra 5 and the experience of the present-day church. The considerations that motivated the Jews of Ezra’s time to rebuild God’s house are shared by present-day Christians in their God-given work of building up the church. The message is both challenging and encouraging.