Ezra 5 & Haggai 1-2

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    Edith Taylor

    So first let me say that I am a baby to studying the Bible so 100% I would normally never share because I’m always worried I am misunderstanding. However, I’m pretty sure the process of learning is the whole point to this so here we go.

    The one thing I am having a hard time (because I’m new to studying the Bible) is the timeline of it all. Which books crossover and where they fall. From what it sounds like Ezra 5 and Haagai 1-2 seem to overlap around 520bc heavy on the ish? Is that right? Can someone help me understand the timeline crossover of these two book so I can put it together in my brain. I am a very visual person so timelines and visual trees help me a lot. So in Haggai it says Haggai the spoke to Zerubbabel (Gov. of Judah) and to Joshua (high priest)? Right? And then in Ezra it says that Zechariah was a prophet with Haggai that was also talking to Zerubbabel and Joshua?

    I loved the cross references to Ezra. I noticed the word Eye was repeated a lot and when I looked that word up in every verse it was the same word H5869. What was interesting to me was that, from what I understand, it means literal as in physical organ. Another deffiniton I saw part of it was anthropomorph which I think means to describe a thought of having human form/attributes. Which to me is SUPER interesting because this is in the OT when God has yet to come as Christ in physical form so for me I feel like it’s another way of God preparing with his word his coming as the messiah in physical form. I love that all of those cross references speak about Gods eye watching us but not just in what were doing he connects it by also mentioning giving wisdom/instruction to those his eye sees as righteous, fearing the Lord, hopes in unfailing love. There’s so much connection to God always giving wisdom, but also that response being to if our hearts/actions/lives are committed to him.

    Those sort of to me parallel the idea of both of these books. That overall idea of our lives having more direction, insight even blessing if we first posture our hearts to God and do his will before putting ourselves/our needs before him. Like they built up their city but it talks about how no one was flourishing, no one had extra, no one was abundant. So then we are just in this hamster wheel of surviving BUT if we would put GOD first by building his temple like he’s asked then his will would be able to pour out in response. But even if we do align our works and our actions to him it really comes down to the main part of that which is the heart. First our hearts must become right with him and honor the ways of the Lord because even if our actions build the temple it won’t be the same if our hearts are not in it. Part of me wonders if that is why a lot of the elders who saw the first temple thought it wasn’t the same because even though the temple was built, it may not have been done with hearts on fire and whose only goal was to worship God and put him first. It’s like the elders just kept trying to stir up this generation that was the ones alive when they were called to freedom so it’s almost as if they were 1/2 listening. In the end I was understanding that God repeatedly was like IF YOU WILL JUST DO THIS then blessings and everything will come but it’s really up to you to decide if you’re willing to do the work. If that makes sense.

    For me personally this study was a really good reminder to do a serious heart check. Where is the posture of my heart as far as building Gods temple. Do I put my heart into it or am I just going through the motions? Gods eye is on me all the time so in my constant request for wisdom and instruction is my heart FIRST aligned to God for the sole purpose of honoring him or is it just demanding that he reveal his wisdom because I want my needs answered and my life blessed. In the end similarly to Gods call to his people am I preventing my own blessings/answers to prayers because I’m not doing the heart/life work. Not saying I have control over that, Gods will can pour out whenever he deems but I am checking my heart and asking myself are there areas where I’m standing in my own way.

    Those are my ramblings haha If ANYONE has any correction to what I read way into please let me know I am not sensitive to correction. Id like to learn all the things but am very new to this so I know that I may misunderstand some things.

    Avatar photoJane Johnson

    I love how God spoke to you through this. I am smack in the middle of a building season that I’ve been wrestling through and fighting through to get the work done despite doubts, distractions, insecurities and all the things. I laughed out loud at your all-caps “IF YOU WILL JUST DO THIS” because it’s so true. I feel that with everything in me. “Quit worrying about it all, quit letting yourself get distracted and discouraged, quit with the excuses and just do it!” So good.

    I did a quick search for a visual chronology of Ezra and Haggai and found this breakdown that might be helpful. Note: I haven’t looked at it too closely to check for accuracy, so take it with a grain of salt, research it, see if it fits. But it might help you get it all straightened out in your mind!


    Edith Taylor

    I was reading the Bible with my son who is my deep thinking and stopped me and asked “mom so do they ever learn? This is like when God freed them from Egypt and then they forgot to worship God or be grateful. It’s always the same Because they’re just doing this over and over. God says to listen and they don’t and then it’s hard and they get b mad at God.”

    I was like yup and that’s one I’d the many many reasons we have Jesus sweet babes. It’s so funny that even with this obvious pattern of following God, all the history, all the proof I still personally find myself in the same pattern somehow.

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