Due to their rebellion, the people of God had been captured by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon… Just like Jeremiah had prophesied.
But later, Cyrus, King of Persia, had captured Babylon. The remarkable thing was that the Lord, himself, spoke to Cyrus to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem and to let the people go back to rebuild. Cyrus even brought forth all the gold and silver, etc. that had been captured and returned it to Jerusalem to build the temple.
But, the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of captivity were going to rebuild the temple- they wanted to jump in. But, the people of Judah and Benjamin would not let them because they had mixed themselves with idols. So their adversaries (their own people) got jealous.
Has anyone ever got jealous over something you did, even if it was for the Lord? Maybe even someone “close to you?”
These adversaries had a plot… First of all, they weakened their hands through constant ridicule. They caused them trouble while they were building. But when Cyrus was no longer king, they wrote letters to the next king, against the people of Judah. They wrote these letters in the Syrian tongue to “many nations,” all their enemies, and told them, “you must stop the people from building Jerusalem. They are rebellious, full of insurrection, sedition; if you let them build, they will take over your territories, and they will not pay tribute, tolls, or customs.” In other words, you will lose a lot of money and territory if you let them build!
Has it ever looked like the enemy was about to deliver a “knock-out” punch to you? Knocked you down and you feel you can’t get back up? Well, you can! They said that “the eye of God was upon the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease!” Ezra 5:5 – They had laid the foundation, but were still in threat of their lives, concerning their enemies.
Then, the Jews wrote a letter to King Darius, who was now the king. They told him to search the scrolls in Babylon and that they would find the truth: that King Cyrus had already given them permission to rebuild the Temple and had even given them “everything they needed.” When King Darius read the scrolls he told everyone to “let the work of this house of God, alone!” And he gave them everything needed to continue building!
Opposition only makes us stronger. We cannot fight the “giant,” until we conquer the lion and the bear. The Bible declares, “when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19
You have “won another battle!” Now, go fight the war! Sherry