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the Mission of Haggai and Zechariah
It is necessary to read the books of Haggai and Zechariah to see what difficulties the leaders of the people had to meet, and how much they needed the help of the prophets. At last matters were brought to an issue by the failure of the crops, which gave the prophets additional arguments. When God’s judgments are abroad in the earth, men learn righteousness. As soon as the rebuilding began after a lapse of fifteen years, another letter was sent to the metropolis for advice. Tatnai appears to have been incited by the Samaritans, and he made a visit of personal inspection. His account of the proceedings is very graphic. The eye of God is on those whose hearts are perfect towards Him, Ezra 5:5 ; 2 Chronicles 16:9 ; Psalms 33:18 . It is very well to imitate these elders in giving an answer in meekness and fear, but not terrified by our adversaries, 1 Peter 3:12 ; 1 Peter 3:15 . If God has clearly set us to do work for Him, let us go through with it in spite of all human opposition. Storms are the methods by which He reveals our weakness and His all-sufficiency. The walls of the spiritual temple are built “in troublous times,” but the work goeth fast on. The rulers of this world cannot understand and gnash impotently with their teeth, God’s plan shall stand, though earth be in arms to resist it.
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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Ezra 5". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent