-We see the adversaries of the Jews rising up to thwart the work in this chapter. Zerubbabel and Jeshua did the right thing in not relenting to their desires to work with them in building the Temple with their pagan influences. As they said, “You have nothing in common with us in building a House to our God… (Ezra 4:3). Therefore, the enemies of God’s people, the people of the land, discouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate (Ezra 4:4-5). This happened from the days of Cyrus until the days of Darius, king of Persia. During the reign of Ahasuerus (Xerxes, Hebrew- Ahash-verosh), the enemies of the Jews wrote an accusation against the inhabitants so that the work would be legally halted. This letter against Jerusalem included warnings that the builders were constantly and historically rebellious against foreign powers and kings, and that they would not pay tribute if the walls and fortifications were finished. They threatened them with the prospect of losing money for their fortunes and appealed to their pride and honor in the letter. They implored them to make search of history to verify their claims as to why the city was laid waste (Ezra 4:8-15). In short, they convinced the king that he and his kingdom would have no possession in the province beyond the River (Euphrates) if they were allowed to rebuild (Ezra 4:16). The king’s reply halted the work and agreed in principle with the enemies of God. “Then the work on the House of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia (Ezra 4:17-24).”
-*Application* We can all experience times of discouragement and setback. Resistance to God’s work and momentum should always be expected and is allowed by the Sovereign for whatever reason at times. Don’t let the discouraging voices in your life gain the upper hand. Stay devoted and committed to the LORD’s design and remain strong in adversity. He will eventually win the day and His plans will succeed in your life!
Verse to Memorize: Ezra 4:24