Ezra 4 & 5
These 2 chapters are exciting chapters from the Book of Ezra, it talks about the beginning of the rebuilding of the temple and immediate opposition to cut it off, but God had His eyes set on the elders and prophets right there to encourage His people, prophet Haggai and Zechariah. These chapters remind me of the Christian walk, though at times we might feel lonely, discouraged and everything else the enemy is willing to throw at as, even as you read this, I want to encourage you in remembering that our Lord Jesus is faithful and just in forgiving our sins and above all " 13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,[b] God made you[c] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[d] (Colossians 2:13-15). DON'T GIVE UP, continue building the temple of God, the Body of Christ.
- Know who you allow to build the temple of God with you-"1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, "Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here." Spiritual discernment is a key to building your faith and relationship with the Lord. The Word of God says "Matthew 7:21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." The Israelites were building the temple in accordance with God's will in Ezra 1. What did these enemies have to do with the building??? The way to find out who's really helping is to check those people's lives, do they do God's work because they're being obedient or because they expect something in return, some gain...that check includes me too.
- When you tell the enemy to take their hands off from the project God has given you, they go out to find ways to discourage you- "v4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. [a] 5 They hired counselors 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. In the Word of God, Lord Jesus compared His body to the temple and Lord Jesus also compares all believers to be the body of Christ, so God's temple=body of Christ and when we take on the project of rebuilding God's temple, in getting back God's children into the kingdom of God, be sure we'll find lots of opposition, spiritual, physical, emotional, mental and all other ways the enemy could possibly try to discourage us, because what you're doing is defeating their hold in your life.
- The enemy begins the blame game-Ezra 4:6-24 records the ridiculous weave of conspiracy the enemies planned against the Israelites to somehow stop them from building God's temple. The placed accusations against Judah and Jerusalem. Why does this not surprise me? Its because we have an enemy, who knows if you're not getting discouraged, you can surely be falsely accused thats the enemy's works day and night to falsely accuse (Revelation 12:10). The Word of God says, we are righteous because of our Lord Jesus, but the enemy continues to say "Look God, that woman is a sinner, look God she has done this, he has done that" and Jesus our Saviour continues to intercede for us and says "They asked for my pardon, they are pure through my righteousness". Don't fall for the blame game.
- Don't give up building, for God is watching over you and encourages you-" 5 But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received. " I know when accusations build up, and the enemy is determined to put you down, it can be difficult to stand, but don't give in. God spoke through the prophets Haggai ("Haggai 1:13 "Then spake Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. 14And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God" ) and Zechariah to encourage the people and they continued to build.
Conclusion: If you have embarked on a journey with the Lord Jesus, to rebuild God's temple, His body, then be sure of facing difficulties and discouragements, even accusations, but we have hope in this, that our God constantly watches over us as we continue in His work.
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4:13-15)