Finishing What We Begin
"And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." (Ezra 6:14)
We may begin a thing and we may not finish it. Cyrus the heathen king was stirred up to rebuild the temple of God. What had he to do with the temple of Jerusalem? There was one who by his character drew the attention of these mighty kings to God.
From his boyhood, Daniel determined to be holy and to be hard-working. He built up a fellowship in Babylon, a fellowship of praying men. In your life, whatever you are, you must be good in your work to the glory of God. You must be holy and must build a fellowship for God.
"I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end" (Daniel 6:26). The king wanted to decree the people into faith in the living God. Daniel's influence was felt even in Cyrus' reign. Fifty thousand people followed Zerubabbel to build the temple and the altar in Jerusalem. They first repaired the altar and commenced the worship of God. Are we worshipping at an altar? In your college or office and in your home your influence will be felt for good. Are you building yourself in Christ?
Daniel made his God great to the kings of Babylon. The people finished the work. But Daniel started it in the days of his youth. When he was offered the king's meat, he refused. It would not build him in God. If you willingly go against the commandments of God, where will your end be? Do not blame God for your ill health and lack of understanding.
Hands "off" the things of God unless your hands are clean. Be careful!
Let us build and let us finish the work. Let us dedicate it. You are working but build yourself in Christ first.