January 06, 2014


Ezra 5:1-2

The prophets of God were with them, supporting them.
—Ezra 5:2


In February 2013, four people were shot and injured at a bar near my home. This was the second shooting there within a few months; the first had resulted in the death of a young man. We wanted the bar closed. We needed help. The Spirit prompted nearby business owners to write letters to city officials expressing their concerns. Our community police officers gathered past violations on the bar and stepped up enforcement. Within four weeks, the bar was closed.

In today’s verses we find that God wanted the people to restart building the temple. They needed help. So God sent his prophets to the people.

The prophets performed important functions for the people. They helped bring God’s presence into their midst. They per-sonally addressed the people, speaking God’s words of authority and reminding them of God’s faithfulness in the past. The prophets also worked with the priests and Levites to remind the people of the stories of Abraham, Moses, and David. They helped the people keep faith. With visions from God, the prophets helped the people return to the work of rebuilding, regardless of the circumstances.

Are you struggling in a task for the Lord and ready to give up? The Spirit of God works to remind you that Jesus will be with you always and will bring others to help at the right time. Count on it!

Thank you, Lord, for your help in times of struggle and doubt. Thank you for your presence and work in us. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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