Summary: God blesses His Word. The remnant heard God’s will clearly revealed in His Word and they didn’t ignore it or put it aside. They no longer stalled and delayed. This time, when they heard God’s Word, they obeyed His will. And when that happens, God blesses.
1. God blessed the remnant with firm audacity (5:5)
2. God blessed the remnant with a fair assessment (5:6-6:5)
3. God blessed the remnant with a fervent advocate (6:6-13)
4. God blessed the remnant with full accomplishment (6:14-15)
Back in the book of Exodus, when God was describing the priestly garments to Moses… He included a very strange feature. In what was called the “breastplate of judgment” He included a couple of special stones. Nobody really knows what those stones looked like or how they worked. But we know what they were called. They were called the Urim and Thummim. And many times in the Old Testament, that’s where they would go to determine God’s will about something. Even as late as Ezra 2, the priests would seek the Urim and Thummim to determine the will of God that He was going to bless. One time this bright young theologian came home from seminary. His head was full of all kinds of biblical knowledge. And he was more than happy to let everybody know what he knew. So one day after church, he was talking with a group of people about all kinds of wild theological theories about how the priests would use Urim and Thummim to determine God’s will that He would bless. After this went on for a good bit of time, one wise old man spoke up. He said, “Son, I don’t know about all that fancy stuff you’re talking about. I know that somehow, by God’s design, in the days of the priests… He made it so they would have to use the Urim and Thummim to determine God’s will that He would bless. But here’s what else I know. I know that it works almost the same way today.” That really got the young scholar’s attention. “Yep—Instead of working through Urim and Thummim, today God reveals His will through Usin’ and Thumbin’—Usin’ His Word and thumbin’ through it’s pages.” If you’ve spent more than just a few minutes with Don Deel, I’m sure you’ve heard him tell you what God blesses. He is quick to tell you that God only blesses one thing. God only blesses His Word. The only way to determine the will of God for your life that He will truly bless is by usin’ and thumbin’ through His Word. God blesses obedience to His Word. We see that in our passage tonight. Our passage tonight is very long. It runs from 5:5 all the way to 6:15, so we’re not going to read each verse as we go along like we usually do. But keep your Bible open and follow along as we go. Just a little side note here. Never trust a preacher. I think I’m safe in saying that because the Bereans didn’t even trust the Apostle Paul. And the Bible praises them for that. What I mean is, don’t always completely trust that what a preacher says is true to Scripture. That’s why you’re blessed to have your own Bible. Look it up for yourself. Read what comes before and after the text that was presented. Make sure the sermon or teaching was on what the text was really about. One of the reasons that the Lord has convicted me to preach through books the way I do is to help you get into the habit of systematically looking at texts. Know the text in its context. If I jump around from text to text, it’s too easy for me to preach my thoughts instead of what God’s Word actually says. I don’t know about you, but I want to hear from God. Actually, I do know about you. You want to hear from God too. That’s why you put up with my teaching the way I do. So, why is it that we want to hear and read and learn God’s Word so much? Why do we hunger for it the way we do? Because, to steal Don Deel’s line, that’s what God blesses. He blesses obedience to His Word. Just like He did with the remnant in our passage. Remember where we are. After 16 years, the remnant had finally gotten back to work on the temple of God. God spoke to them through His prophets Haggai and Zechariah. And when they heard the Word of God, they got busy. But no sooner than they had gotten back to work, some Persian government officials came and questioned them. They questioned their authority and they even took a list of names down in order to report them to King Darius. But the remnant wasn’t intimidated. They had heard God’s will clearly revealed in His Word. And they didn’t ignore it. They didn’t put it aside. They no longer stalled and delayed. This time, when they heard God’s Word, they obeyed His will. And when that happens, God blesses. I want us to obey God’s will that we see in His Word. I don’t want us to ignore it. I don’t want us to stall or delay. When we see God’s will in His Word, I want us to obey just like the remnant did. And when we do, God will bless. And He’ll bless in four ways. The first way God will bless is with firm audacity. Look at verse 5: