Ezra 5 – Making a Decision

Today in Ezra 5 we see a Biblical crossover, so to speak. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah are on the scene to prophesy (v.1) but also to get involved and help (v.2). Both spoke into the situation; Haggai mainly on the priorities and physical laziness of the people (Haggai 1.2-10), and Zechariah on the general spiritual condition of the people. The words of both are recorded in the books that bear their names. 

As this is all happening, Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River comes along and asks, simply, ‘What is going on here and who are you all?’ (vv.3-4). Tattenai then writes a pretty honest account of what is going on to Darius the king in order to find out the king’s pleasure in this matter (v.17). Simply, will the work continue?  

God’s people cite a higher authority in justification of their work (v.13), and the king is encouraged to actually seek out the records for himself and make a decision (v.17). 

For you and for me, we could learn from Tattenai’s words in v.17,

“Now if the king is so inclined, let a search be conducted in the royal archives there in Babylon in order to determine whether King Cyrus did in fact issue orders for this temple of God to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Then let the king send us a decision concerning this matter.”


Rather than take anybody’s word for it, the king is encouraged to search the records, do some investigation, and to form him own opinion. Is that how you form opinions? Do you search the written records, do you do some research, do you form your own opinion?

Speaking of the Bereans in Acts 17.11, Luke writes that 

These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so.


Rather than simply take someone’s word for it on any given subject, are you turning to the only infallible and all-sufficient resource (2 Timothy 3.16-17)? Are you turning to the royal archives of King Jesus? (Revelation 17.14, 19.13, 16, John 18.36, Isaiah 9.6-7).

So, when faced with a decision or dilemma, open up this treasure trove of knowledge, counsel, comfort, information, history, redemption, love, and grace and then make a decision concerning [the] matter. 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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