Scripture: Ezra 4:1-5 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, 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.” But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.” Then the people around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. 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.
Devotional: As Zerubbabel and his associates began to build, their enemies began to take note and conspired to frustrate their plans- first with and underhanded attempt to infiltrate the process by offering to help. But when Zerubbabel saw through their plans and refused them, they came up from their subversive ways and outright opposed the building in every way possible.
What a great reminder for you and I that, even though we set about the work God has called us to, that doesn’t guarantee it will be smooth sailing. We may face great opposition and discouragement. And we also, as Matthew 10:16 says, must be “shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.”
- Reflect upon a time that you have faced opposition to the work to which you’re called, but you were able to endure the resistance and push through to success.