“Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose…” (Ezra 4:4,5a).TEXT — Ezra 4:1-6
From the dateless past through the ages to now, opposition to God and His cause through subtlety and pretense has dominated the human race. Satan, through the serpent, deceived Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in order to frustrate God’s purpose for man on earth. No sooner had the good work of rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem begun than the people of the land (Samaritans) opposed the undertaking and the undertakers.
Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the chief of the fathers of Israel started the rebuilding of the temple in obedience to the commandment of Cyrus the King of Persia but were met with opposition from the people of the land: the remnants of the ten tribes and the foreigners that joined themselves to them. They offered to build with the Israelites so as to get an opportunity to retard the work while they pretended to further it. Their offer looked plausible but it was deceitful, with the war in the heart.
The children of the captivity (the Jews) refused the offer because they knew such a partnership with aliens to the commonwealth of Israel would lead them to compromise their faith (2 Corinthians 6:14). Today, believers must expect opposition and distractions when they are in God’s will and work. Unbelievers may offer discouraging alliances to frustrate God’s purpose. We must reject them and move ahead with God’s plan without fear.
Discouragement and fear are two weakening weapons from the enemy; discouragement kills our motivation, while fear paralyzes our actions. However, victory is sure through prayers and faith in the unfailing promises of God. God’s plan and purpose may be delayed or hindered, but they cannot be stopped (Hebrews 10:23). We must vehemently resist every subtle plan of the enemy to distract us from making heaven.
Thought for the day
The train of God’s plan always arrives at its destination at the right time.
- in one year
- ACTS 5 – 6