God’s work will always be opposed but should we give up
Ezra Chapter 2 records in detail the number of people who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon after the command issued by king Cyrus of Persia. Among the prominent leaders who returned were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, and Mordecai, vs 2. And from among the priests: the descendants of Hobaia, Hakkoz and Barzillai, whose genealogical records could not be found were, therefore, excluded from the priesthood and not permitted to eat any of the sacred food until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim to confirm their ancestry, vs 61-63.
Thus they sought to make sure that the law of God was not violated on any account! The first thing that they began doing was to build the altar on which the various sacrificial offerings could be offered, Ezra 3: 2,3.
Next, they observed the Festival of temporary shelters, vs 4. Afterward they offered the continual burnt offerings and those for the new moons and for all the holy assemblies of the Lord, vs 5.
However, the Lord’s temple was not yet established at that time vs 6. It was only in the second year of their arrival that they initiated the work of building the temple, vs 8. Once the foundation of the temple was laid, vs 10, they rang out their fervent praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord*, vs 9-11. Nevertheless, those among the older generation, wept as they remembered the former temple! So there was a loud sound of weeping and joy mingled together, vs 12,13. Opposition to stop the work, throughout the time of King Cyrus of Persia until the reign of King Darius of Persia, came against them from their enemies, because they were not permitted to help them.
Eventually, their enemies lodged a complaint to king Artaxerxes of Persia about the rebellious Jews who had begun building the foundation and walls of their city; and, acting on that accusation, the king ordered for the work to be stopped, and so, the work came to a grinding halt, Ezra 4:1-24! Subsequently, on being encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to continue the work, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak began to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem, Ezra 5:1,2.
Once again they met with opposition, but this time they continued to work, for God’s favour was upon them, vs 5, and while their opposers sent a letter to king Darius of Persia, asking him to confirm as to whether or not a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, the work went on unhindered, vs 6-17!
After making enquiries, and on finding the Jews claims to be true, king Darius not only ordered for the work to be continued, but also instructed those who had asked for the enquiry to be made, to support the project by supplying all that was needed by the Jews to complete the job perfectly and speedily, as well as to also supply them with the necessary things needed for the sacrifices that were to be offered as well, Ezra 6:6-13! Thus this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king, vs 15!
This clearly indicates that God’s work will always be opposed, however, in no way should we give up rebuilding our lives, homes, Churches or Nations till God’s will is done and His glory is revealed therein, just as it is in heaven! We can rest assured that God will never leave nor forsake us, but instead support us in every way possible!
And so, as we persevere against all odds, it will only be a matter of time when the work will be completed and our, already defeated enemies dispersed! However, it is the day of small beginnings that must not be despised and endurance must be permitted to have its perfect effect, for without faith and patience we will never be able to inherit the promises, James 1:4 and Hebrews 6:12. Amen.