"Despite their fear of the people around them, they built the alter on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord . . . For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the King of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel." —Ezra 3:3, 6:22 (NIV)
When God’s people disobeyed Him, they were sent off as slaves; but God always redeems His people when they humble themselves, acknowledge Him, and repent. This passage details the first time the Jews returned to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, and they started with the altar. This proved important, signifying that the people had placed their worship of God as a first priority; God always wants our heart right with Him and wants to be the only One worthy of our worship.
The Israelites were afraid of the people in the neighborhood, and rightfully so. These people wanted to do the Israelites real harm. Yet, despite their feelings of fear, the Israelites did the work God called them to do. In turn, due to their obedience, God eventually changed the attitude of the Assyrian King, and they were protected from him. Confidence in God’s sovereignty is often built just like the temple, one stone at a time. Our lives need to be built on the confidence of who God says He is and who God says we are in Christ. Sometimes God will knock down your altars so you can start over, beginning anew. God knows what you hold onto that begins to enslave you, and He is willing to knock down whatever is keeping you from being fully invested in your worship and sacrifices for Him. Your surroundings don’t matter as much as God’s sovereign protection. Can you see places in your past life torn down as you disobeyed God? Have you gone your own way, becoming a slave to those things not of Him? He wants you to celebrate your freedom over sin, but you must first submit to God’s sovereign rule in your life.
This is Day 336 in my book, "Fear Not For You Are Redeemed," Click on the link below to purchase the whole book and dive into the fearless soul God created you to be. Fear Not For You Are Redeemed: A One-Year Journey Pursuing Your Healing Through Christ: Martino, Stefanie Jane: 9781735808994: Amazon.com: Books