September 19, 2017. Ezra 4-6, Psalm 137.
In these chapters of Ezra, the people are trying to rebuild the temple of the Lord. When you are carrying out the work of the Lord, there will always be opposition. In the case of the temple, they had people constantly trying to discourage them, bribe officials to make their work harder, and even tattling to the king convincing him this would lead to rebellion.
4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.5 They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Notice that the critics never physically tried to stop the building. Discouragement and fear are such powerful tools, and the enemy knows it. Have you ever felt called to do something and then backed down because you were afraid? Maybe just afraid to fail, or maybe you felt like you just wouldn’t do the best job. When God calls you to do something, He will also give you the tools to do it.
Although the opposition was able to halt the progress of the building, the people continued to work getting permission to build it and complete it. When a new king began to reign, the tattle tales did what they do best and sent another letter trying to convince the king he needed to put a stop to this before rebellion ensued. The king investigated further and found they had the proper permissions to build. He replied to these tattle-tales to make sure the temple was being paid for by the royal treasury and that they were supplying the temple DAILY with the things needed for sacrifice. He went as far as to say that anyone who tried to oppose the building of the temple should be impaled with a beam from their own home. HA. Wouldn’t you have loved to see the faces on those little tattle-tales when they got that message!
Y’all. God takes care of His people. His work will be completed. There will be opposition, but victory will always belong to Christ. The temple was built, the people recognized what God had done, and they were filled with the joy of the Lord.
22 For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.
Next time you feel discouraged, remember who you are serving. When you are following the plan God has for your life, there will be people constantly trying to knock you down. But when you persevere and continue to seek guidance and help from the Lord, He will take care of the haters. Rejoice in the one true and living God.