So the exiles rebuilding the temple have resumed their work after a twenty year pause, but they are waiting to hear whether the emperor will allow them to continue. This is like waiting for your case to get decided in court. You've made your appeal, but now the decision is totally out of your hands. This points us to a vital truth: We are never in control of everything that affects us. When God calls us to a rebuilding work, He is not calling us to have mastery over every factor that affects us. He is calling us to continue doing what He has called us to do and to leave the God-sized stuff up to Him.
And what we read in this chapter is God coming through in the biggest ways imaginable. Darius says that the work can continue! And, the emperor will pay for it! (vv. 6-12) So they finish the temple and celebrate a Passover feast. They do this knowing that God is the One who has ultimately blessed the whole project: "They kept the Feast ... with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel." (v. 22) Never let your resolution to start over for God cause you to lose sight of His provision and control in your life. "Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." (Psalm 127.1)