“I will take you,
my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel …
and I will make you like my signet ring,
for I have chosen you,’
declares the Lord Almighty.
For seventy years the people of Judah lived in exile. A pagan nation ruled by kings who were often found an enemy to the one true God. The narrative of Daniel reveals a fickle rule that would bend towards whatever seemed prosperous at the moment.
The evil of arrogance is seen as the release of the captives to their homeland is announced. Cyrus is portrayed as the hero for giving God’s people back their land along with their temple goods and provisions. But his heart was not set on surrender to God, rather a surge of power … His own!
Even so, God uses this prideful politician for His purpose as only He can do!
The story in the book of Ezra chronicles their quest.
Returning to the rubble that once was a city draped with God’s blessing.
Rebuilding the altar to offer sacrifices to God.
Restoring their worship as laid out within the law.
Repenting of the sin found within their own hearts
All seemed well in the land of Judah until the enemy took notice!
Disguised as the kings men.
Discouraging their work.
Demanding they stop.
The men of Judah run in fear to their homes and the temple is left undone.
It may seem insignificant as the story continues, but the bigger picture reveals the destruction proposed by the enemy in God’s plan.
After sixteen years of stagnation where prosperity seemed bleak, the prophets walk on the scene. They brought more than just admonition and encouragement as the people finally return to their work on the temple.
They brought back the promise.
Zerubbabel leads the people as a king without a crown. A descendent of the tribe of Judah and yet he has no throne upon which to sit.
The words of Haggai bring the promise of this earthly reign back into focus as He turns from his declaration to the people to focus on one man.
“I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel … and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
Although a king from the tribe of Judah would not reign again in Jerusalem, the hope of an eternal kingdom is restored! God’s plan would continue, for the enemy cannot prevail against one so holy as the Battle for Christmas contends for victory!