Ezra 6:1 (NIV) 1 King Darius then issued an order, and they searched in the archives stored in the treasury at Babylon.
On verses 1-12: King Darius is in need of guidance on an issue: are the Jews authorized to rebuild the temple or not? Further to the suggestion of Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates and another official Shethar-Bozenai in chapter 5, King Darius searches the archives stored in Babylon’s royal treasury. There he discovers a memo from a king who came before him – King Cyrus – who clearly authorized the rebuilding of the temple as a place to present sacrifices (v3), decrees the size of the temple (v3b-4) and commands that the costs of the rebuilding be paid by the royal treasury (v3-4). King Darius found the specific answer to his question by searching the royal archives. Based on that, he decrees that no one interfere with the Jews’ rebuilding the temple, and further commands that whatever the Jews need is to be provided by the royal treasury (v7-12).
What can we learn from this?
–Like King Darius, you are royalty. You are a member of God’s royal family (1 Peter 2:9; Romans 8:17) and part of your inheritance is to rule and manage a part of God’s kingdom (the talents and relationships God has given you) for His glory.
–Like King Darius, you have access to a royal treasury: the treasury of God’s Word. When making decisions, search the royal treasury of God’s Word for guidance. There in the archives, you will find the words and instructions that the King who came before you wrote down. Use them to guide your actions and inform how you will decide the issues you face.
–King Darius commands that anyone who disobeyed the king’s command and who interfered with, or did not support, the rebuilding of the temple would “be lifted up and impaled on a tree” (v11). This reminds me of how Jesus was without sin yet for our sakes and in our place Jesus was lifted up and nailed to a tree, taking on the punishment for our failure to obey the commands of our king God Almighty.
Ezra 6:16-17 (NIV) 16 Then the people of Israel–the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles–celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of this house of God they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel.
On verses 13-22: Now with the support of the governing officials (v13), as well as the encouragement of preachers Haggai and Zechariah (v14), the Jews complete the rebuilding of the temple (v14-15). They celebrate and dedicate the temple with great joy and sacrifices (v17), install the priests for service (v18), and celebrate the Passover (v19). The celebrations that concluded the building of this new temple were not nearly as large and extravagant as when Solomon finished building the first temple (see for example 1 Kings 8:63 where King Solomon sacrifices 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats). That’s because it’s a very different time: when Solomon finished building the first temple, Israel was at the height of its prosperity. But here in Ezra 6 those celebrating have just returned from exile with very little materially. Still, they celebrate with what they have and much joy accompanies that celebration.
What can we learn from this? God is a God of celebration. He likes to throw parties. So when God helps you to accomplish something great, celebrate it! Don’t worry about how it compares to others or to the past, for God has a unique purpose and destiny for you and the current time you are in. So when something good happens, be sure to celebrate it in some way.
Heavenly Father, as a member of Your royal family, whenever I have issues to decide on, thank You that I can search the archives in the royal treasury of Your Word for my answer. And thank You for being a God of celebration. May I not hesitate the celebrate the great things we get to accomplish together, no matter how they may compare to others. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!