Joy and Resistance (Ezra 3:8 – 4:5)

Five months after the altar was rebuilt and feasts were first observed, the people of God, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, assigned the Levites to oversee the work of the house of the Lord, and the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord.  This was a momentous beginning, and the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites with cymbals, to praise the Lord.  All the people shouted in praise, and the old men who had seen the first temple wept with a loud voice.  The sound was so great that it was heard afar off.  When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard what was happening, they offered to help them build the temple, but Zerubbabel and Jeshua told them that they could not help, only the people of Israel would build a house for the Lord.  From that time on, the people of the land began to discourage them, and hired counselors to frustrate their purpose.

It is a marvelous thing to see the work of the Lord begin.  It is great to see the restoration of things lost, even if it takes time.  It is important to rejoice and celebrate even small steps of accomplishment.  It is also important to know that any time you begin something significant for the Lord, opposition will come, whether within or without.  Therefore, move forward, aware of your opposition, but not paralzed by it.  God is greater than the opposition, and He will sustain you as you work for Him.  So sound the trumpet, ring the cymbals, and build the House of the Lord.  Let the naysayers be silenced, and the counselors against you be confounded, for their work will come to naught and you will succeed, if you are called and fulfilling the work of the Lord!

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