Scripture Read: Ezra 3 - 4
Title: Opposition to Rebuilding the Temple
(H) Highlight verse: "When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem. " Ezra 3:1
(E) Explain: The Israelites returned to Jerusalem and the people were unified in their goal of rebuilding the temple. Leaders, foremen and builders all appointed so that the building could resume. The altar was the first to be be built and then the foundation for the temple was laid. The people rejoiced and celebrated because the temple construction had begun again. However, not everyone was happy about this building project. People from nearby cities opposed the building and they sabbotaged their efforts by bringing accusations against them to King Artexerxes, the King of Persia. Ultimately, a decree was made and construction ceased for over a decade.
(A) Application: When God is at work, opposition is usually not too far behind. We see this truth throughout the Bible and we see this in our lives today. There is nothing more joyous than seeing God's hand at work among His people and in His kingdom because when God is at work there is cause for celebration and worship. However, opposition usually arises not too long thereafter. This is frustrating as believers because sometimes the opposition comes from within the body of Christ. I am sure there are many reasons as to why resistance happens but I am quite certain that opposition from other believers usually happens because they are not in sync with what God is doing. They may be jealous, bitter, or have ulterior motives. For whatever reason they do not want to see God's work succeed and this is sad.
I have seen this happen throughout my life personally, professionally and observing from a distance and there is nothing more frustrating than seeing people trying to stop what God is doing. Not only is it frustrating but it is also rather pointless. Sure, the work may cease for a moment, but God's work cannot be hindered, thwarted or stopped. Maybe you are experiencing opposition to God's work in your life today, but know this... what God starts, God finishes and nothing and nobody can stop Him from bringing it to completion.
(R) Respond: I am reminded of the words of Philippians 1:6, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of the Jesus Christ." Thank you Jesus.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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