In these passages is the account of the Prophets, Haggai and Zechariah speaking to the Jewish leader, Zerubbabel at God’s direction. They told Zerubbabel to continue building the Temple of God. Zerubbabel did so. However, the local officials questioned his authorization to begin building again.
The Persian king Artexerxes had issued a decree for the Jews to stop building the Temple, but now Darius was King of Persia. The Jews told the local officials that former King Cyrus had issued a decree to rebuild the Temple. So, the local officials sent an inquiry to Darius to search the archives and confirm Cyrus’ decree.
The search confirmed King Cyrus’ decree. King Darius then ordered the local officials to allow the rebuilding of the Temple to continue unhindered. The local officials were also to provide materials for building and the animals for sacrifice.
The Temple was completed in the sixth year of the reign of king Darius. This account reveals how God assists people in accomplishing His purposes. It was God who turned the heart of King Cyrus to issue the first decree to rebuild the Temple. It was God who turned the heart of King Darius to allow the building to continue.
However, I believe it was Satan who caused the rebuilding to halt for a time by influencing King Artexerxes. This also reveals the spiritual battle that is occurring out of our sight. This is a battle for the hearts and souls of mankind. We must be aware of this battle in order to survive in walking the narrow path that leads to Heaven.