Daily Word

God’s careful watch | Ezra 5:3-5 (NLT)

3 But Tattenai, governor of the province west of the Euphrates River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues soon arrived in Jerusalem and asked, “Who gave you permission to rebuild this Temple and restore this structure?” 4 They also asked for the names of all the men working on the Temple. 5 But because their God was watching over them, the leaders of the Jews were not prevented from building until a report was sent to Darius and he returned his decision.~

Ezra 5:3-5 (NLT)

Careful Watch – of leaders

When I first read this, I thought this was just one more local politician trying to make trouble for the Jews. After reading JFB commentary, I see that this guy, Tattenai was a governor who was faithfully doing his job and watching over his domain. “The whole conduct of Tatnai, as well as the general tone of his dispatch, is marked by a sound discretion and prudent moderation, free from any party bias, and evincing a desire only to do his duty. In all respects he appears in favorable contrast with his predecessor, Rehum (Ezr 4:9).” 

This guy actually made a personal visit to assess the situation. He asked pointed questions. Since he wasn’t familiar with the Decree of Cyrus and other details, he decided to escalate. As we’ll see in his letter tomorrow, he sought additional facts before making a judgement.

Careful Watch – of God

Why was this governor in charge now, one who was just? What if he were corrupt or biased against the Jews like his predecessor, Rehum? He could have come and shut down the work. The writer answers plainly: “their God was watching over them”. They were engaged in God’s work so the work continued. 

God is watching your work

What good work are you engaged in that God has prepared in advance for you to do? (Eph 2:10) Are you facing any opposition? If this is God’s work, He will provide. Part of that provision is to carefully watch over the work. Trust that He is watching and that He cares. When it looks bleak, know that He is actively watching and working. Look for His fingerprints. Give praise and thanks.


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