Summary: Sermon 5 in the series. The Jews have settled into their cities, built homes, raised crops. Now it is time to get busy in the work of the Lord. In last week’s lesson, we saw that the people put a priority on worship! Even without a Temple, they returned
T The Book of Ezra
Rebuilding the Foundation!
OPEN: If you knew that a murderer were on the loose in your city, what would you do? Buy a gun, read your Bible, pray, or tithe?
QUOTE: Why was the Lord’s temple begun first, even before the city wall? The temple was used for spiritual purposes; the wall, for military and political purposes. God had always been the nation’s protector, and the Jews knew that the strongest stone wall would not protect them if God was not with them. They knew that putting their spiritual lives in order was a far higher priority than assuring the national defense.(LAB)
• God raised up a new leader named Cyrus.
• He is led to send to Jews back to their homes.
• At his request, a large offering is given for the rebuilding of the Temple.
• Now, the Jews are back in the land.
• There is a time gap between chapters 2 and 3 (we do not know exactly how long).
• Some estimate that it has been approximately 3 months since their arrival.
• The Jews have settled into their cities, built homes, raised crops.
• Now it is time to get busy in the work of the Lord.
• In last week’s lesson, we saw that the people put a priority on worship!
• Even without a Temple, they returned to observing the offerings and feasts.
• But there was something lacking!
• The Temple work had not begun.
• In the spirit of revival that carried the day, the people begin to order supplies.
• Here is a review of last week’s points:
I. The Fervency Restored (1)
II. The Fire Restored (2-3)
III. The Feasts Restored (4-6)
IV. The Furnishings Retrieved (7)
• Now we see ...
V. The Foundation Rebuilt (8-13)
I. The Work Delegated (8-9)
NOTE: It took from September (Ezra 3:1; September was the seventh month because the year began in March) to June just to prepare to build the temple. The exiles took time to make plans because the project was important to them. Preparation may not feel heroic or spiritual, but it is vital to any project meant to be done well. (LAB)
A. Dating the Work (8A)
Ezra 3:8 Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month,
• You will remember from our last message, that all Israel met in Jerusalem.
• They met there to rebuild the altar and reestablish the sacrifices and feasts.
• This was on the 7th month (Tishri)
• At that meeting, they ordered materials for the temple.
• It is now a full 7 months later.
• This would be about Apr./May 536 b.c.
• This officially ended the 70 year captivity that began in 605 b.c. (MacArthur)
• This is the exact month in which Solomon began to build the first temple.
B. Dividing the Work (8B-9)
1. The Leaders (8B)
[8B] began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites,
a. Zerubbabel - The appointed governor.
b. Jeshua - The High Priest
c. The Priests and Levites
2. The Laity (8C)
[8C] and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem;
• No church can operate when only the staff carry on the work.
• Rather, they equip the saints for the work of the ministry!
Ephes. 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
3. The Levites (8D-9)
[8D] and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord.  Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.
• Zerubbabel appointed the Levites as supervisors of the construction project.
• Centuries earlier Levites were involved in the tabernacle construction (Ex. 38:21) and in caring for and transporting it (Num. 1:50-51; 3:21-37).
• Now they were involved in the temple construction.
• Three Levite groups of supervisors were mentioned (Ezra 3:9)— Jeshua and his family, Kadmiel (cf. 2:40) and his family, and the family of Henadad. (BKC)
• God is pleased when things are done decently and in order.
II. The Work Dedicated (10-11; Lk. 9:62)
Comments on Completion (10A)
 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord,