Ezra, who was sent to teach the scriptures to the exiles, spent his first stint in Jerusalem, separating families to purify the people rather than letting God deal with His people.
When we read the above verse without synchronising our minds with the mind of Jesus, we start encouraging believers to earn money by whatever means (even unrighteous ways) to cater to the needs of the Church and its projects.
The Messiah was amongst us and no one wanted to believe in His existence, neither the pharisees nor the teachers of the law and not even Jesus’ own family.
When God guides our paths, all the arrangements are made for us. Ezra did not have to worry about the finances for his trip or the funds for the temple sacrifices and ornaments or even to gather his troops, everything was prepared by God.
No one can harm us because the God who loves us, loves the people who intend to harm us too and no one can stand against His love. We may fail in showing love to our enemies but God is able to love our enemies to the extent of transforming their darkest lives into a light shining for the Truth.
Fifteen years after the work on the temple had been halted due to numerous oppositions that the exiles faced, God sent his word to the people of Israel. First through the prophet Haggai (Haggai 1) and then two months later through the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 1), God spoke to the people commanding them to restart the work on the temple.
Storing our treasures in heaven does not mean that we have to store all the mortal things of this earth in heaven, rather it means that when we shift our focus to the things of heaven, our rewards will start to accumulate in heaven. And if our rewards continue to accrue in heaven, our hearts will cling to our Lord Jesus to inherit His belongings.
Jesus humbly calls us to take up His yoke and learn directly from Him to help our souls find rest. He wants us to accept His yoke as a connector between Him and us, so that we don’t need to look to anyone or anything else.
While the returning exiles continued work on the temple, the natives took notice of their new neighbors’ plans and offered help to Zerubbabel and Co.
Let our love be without hypocrisy. If we hate evil, our love will be complete but unfortunately we love evil.
…something was missing as in the midst of the shouts of joy, there was mixed, the sound of weeping also. No one could distinguish between who were shouting with joy or who were crying, overcome by their sorrow. God’s presence was missing which could only be felt by the older generation, the ones who had witnessed the glory of the previous temple before their land was conquered.
We are placed in this world with the purpose of spreading the Kingdom of God to others and God will help us in every way when we are on this mission. He will never leave us nor forsake us just as He taught His disciples while sending them out into the world. It is up to us if we are ready to depend on Him to carry out His mission.