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Lord of hosts keeps His words. He can not tell lies. He remains unchanged for
yesterday, to-day and forever. These are the words of Zechariah the Prophet to Zerubbabel
the Chief of Judah c   
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 %   &"!
 says the Lord of
hosts´ (Zechariah 4:6).

To understand the depth of its meaning, we have to meditate upon this word and
under which circumstances it was told. When God¶s people provoked the Heavenly Lord, He
put them as captives under Nebuchadnezzar the king of Chaldeans. He destroyed the temple
and took the people away to Babylon. However in the first year of Cyrus, king of Babylon,
he issued a decree to build the house of God (Ezra 5:12). After coming to Jerusalem under
Zerubbabel, the people laid the foundation for the temple after two years. When the
adversaries of Judah and Benjamin (Bishlam, Mithredeth Tabeel and their companions) heard
that the captives were building the temple of the Lord God of Israel, they discouraged the
people of Judah, frustrated their purpose by giving a letter to the king, by bribing the King¶s
counselors. And the king too ordered the work to be stopped. The enemies of the Jews went
up in haste to Jerusalem, and by force of arms made them stop. They stopped building the
temple and began to dwell in paneled houses. They started to give reasons like ³it is not time
that the temple should be built´ and justifies their action by pointing that they did not have
gold or silver. Because of this the construction work of the temple was delayed for 16 years.
(Till 520 B.C)

During these 16 years, King Darius came to the throne after Cyrus¶s death. The
enemies of the Jews also passed away. But God¶s people without knowing the power of God
were brooding over their own short comings and weaknesses. And this was the situation
when Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in the name
of God of Israel. (Ezra 5:1) It is that prophecy which said c   
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%&"! says the Lord of hosts.

Relying on might and power, they pointed their weaknesses and fear as reasons for
not building the temple. They were discouraged by the order of the King who was dead and
gone. The building of the temple should have been their first priority but they postponed it
by saying ³the time has not come´. But for their own safety they built paneled houses.
Under these circumstances God¶s word came, c   
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&"!. For those who complained their lack of gold and silver they prophesied ³the gold is
mine and the silver is mine´ says the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:8).

For those who complained about the king¶s opposition, they prophesied, ³I am with
you´ says the Lord. For those who said, ³the time has not come´ they asked, ³Is it time for
you to dwell in paneled houses and the temple to lie in ruins´. Your might, your power and
your and your knowledge do not bring in little. You eat, but do not have enough. You clothe
but no one is warm and he, who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes. You
looked for much but it came too little and when you brought it away, I blew it away. Why?
Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you ruins to his own house, says the
Lord. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew and the earth withholds its fruit.
For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and
the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock and on all the labor of your
hands´, says the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 1:6, 9, 10, 11).

But nothing changed dramatically when the prophets prophesied. But people who
heard the prophesy, listened to God¶s word ± the never changing word. They repented and
believed His word. And the Lord stirred up the spirits of the governor of Judah, the high
priest and the remaining people. Immediately frustration vanished, reluctance and fear
disappeared from them and they came and worked on the house of the Lord. Yes, they
realized, c $!
% &&"!it can be done.

Not depending on their gold or silver, and not expecting a suitable political situation,
they prayed fervently to God. They did not approach the king nor did they wait for King¶s
orders. They obeyed God, the King of Kings. They were not looking for gold and silver
which they did not have. Instead, they climbed the mountains, and cut tree to build the
temple. A humble beginning but was the end perfect?

The work to build the temple of God was going on. It was built with heavy stones
and timber was laid in the walls and work went on but not completed yet. (Ezra 5:8) Then
came Tattenai, the governor of the region beyond the river and Shether Boznai, and their
companions and asked ³who commanded you to build this temple and finish these walls´.

18 years back, even though the enemies were ordinary people, the work was stopped.
But now since the people have understood he prophecy they answered emphatically, ³We are
the servants of the God of the heaven and earth and we are rebuilding the temple that was
built many years ago by a king of Israel. However in the first year of king Cyrus of Babylon,
he issued a decree to build the house of God´. (Ezra 5:11, 13) And the eye of the Lord was
upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not cease the work (Ezra 5:5).

Immediately a letter was sent to the king Darius by the governor of Trans Euphrates
& others, to find out whether the Jews statement to build the temple ordered by the king
Cyrus was true or not. King Darius then issued an order and they searched in the archives
stored in the treasury at Babylon. How difficult it was to find a copy of an order which was
given before 20 years! But a scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of
Media. This copy of the king¶s order was not found after thorough searching. But by chance
they got the order. To others it was by chance but for us it was by the hand the Lord. ³The
race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to
the brilliant, or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all! (Ecc. 9:11) $&
% &&"!
When they read the scroll, it said, ³Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present
sacrifices and let its foundations be laid. It is to be ninety feet high and ninety feet wide«.
The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury. Also the gold and silver articles of the house
of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon, are to be returned to the temple in
Jerusalem. They are to be deposited in the house of God. (Ezra 6:3-5). King Darius, who
read this, issued an order, ³Stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this
temple of God. Let them rebuild the house of God on its site. The expenses are to fully pay
out of royal treasury, so that the work will not stop. Whatever is needed must be given daily
without fail, so that they can offer scarifies and pray for the well being and his sons.´ Also
he added ³I declare that if anyone changes this edict, he will be hanged and his house will be
made a pile of rubble.´ (Ezra 6:6-12).

The temple was built not by might or power but by His spirit. Also he filled them
with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work
of the house of God´. (Ezra 6:22) yes, the king¶s heart is in hands of the Lord. He directs it
like to water course wherever pleases. When a man¶s ways are pleasing to the Lord¶s He
makes even his enemies live at peace with him´. (Prov. 21:1; 16:7).

Not by power or might, every thing is possible by the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts. So
let us not say. ³I am not powerful, I am not strong, the situation is not conducive, the
government is not co-operating´, and be selfish. Instead let us ³seek His kingdom and His
righteousness and all we want on this earth will be added to us´. (Mathew 6:33) When we
but idlies for Rs.5 we get sambar and chatnis free. Without idlies, we will not get sambar and
chatnis free. Likewise, without seeking His kingdom, is it possible to get earthly blessings?
Please think it over.

Hence, whatever is possible, however small it is, let us do it for God. We may not be
able to give gold and silver, but we can contribute wood. Let us not be afraid of our enemies
or problems which are huge like mountains. Your enemies of to-day will be your friends.
When you approach the obstacles which are like mountains, the Spirit of the Lord will help
you to see the stones on those mountains, to build God¶s temple. Saul who troubled and
destroyed the church later became one of the apostles. Pharaoh, though he tortured God¶s
people he was an instrument to reveal God¶s power. Through a blind man, God¶s glory was
revealed. Lazarus who loved the Lord was sick and dead, but that was an opportunity for the
Lord to show His power. Shortage of wine in a marriage was a chance for Jesus to be
glorified. When the disciples were caught in a storm, once again God¶s power was revealed.
Hence, let us not be disheartened during sickness, poverty, death, storm in life, or enemies,
because God¶s glory is going to be revealed. In His hands are strength and power to exalt
and give strength to all. (1 chron. 29:12)

Let us rely on Him forever. Let us prepare ourselves. But let us not depend on our
preparations. Let us think and act. But let us not depend upon our thoughts. Let us learn
from our past experience. But let us not rely on them. Let us ask for human help. But let us
not rely on them, because, c   
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 %   &"!, so says the
Lord of Hosts.