Opposition Averted

As we considered in our last study of Ezra, in this life there will be trouble for those who do God’s work. Another testimony from cover to cover is this very fact, that God’s people are in the midst of a cosmic battle against the enemy. Expect trouble. Expect opposition. But also – expect deliverance! The Jewish people are the greatest example of this cycle. Whether due to their own wandering from the Lord or because of outside opposition, the Jews suffered trouble time and again. In our text, their enemies fooled the authorities into stopping the building of the temple by force. We left them at the end of chapter 4 with the temple foundation left alone and the work coming to an end. God uses trials like these to build our faith and perseverance, but he also demonstrates his power by averting the opposition, proving once again that nothing and no one can stand against the counsel of his will. Chapters 5 and 6 of Ezra prove this very thing. Inspired by the preaching of God-called prophets, the elders of the Jews write to the king, telling him the truth about the building of the temple. They find favor with the king, who not only lets them begin rebuilding again but threatens to execute anyone who would try to stop the project, ““May the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 6:12). Obviously this does not mean that opposition will never rear its head again, but it does mean that our sovereign God is totally trustworthy and will deliver his people from their enemies time and again!