6/23 Ezra 4:12

12 be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations.

As the remnant of Jews that returned began to rebuild Jerusalem, the surrounding inhabitants asked if they could help. They said they had been worshiping the same God and wanted to be a part of the renewed worship. The Jews saw through their subterfuge and refused their help. We will often be faced with those that have good ideas for the church, but they don't have a relationship with the LORD. Their ideas are for their own benefit in one way or another.

Their neighbors then showed their true colors by writing the king and accusing the Jews of treason. Consider the hypocrisy. One minute they want to help you, and the next they accuse you of treason. This is normal for the world. They can't understand the things of God and so they will try every avenue to attack you. They even hired counselors to try to frustrate the Jews. Their main tools against them were fear and discouragement. Nothing has changed.

God gives us the freedom to serve Him or oppose Him. Those in His service will inevitably face that opposition from others. The LORD repeatedly tells us, "Do not fear!" Know that God is on the throne of heaven, and He is laughing at those who oppose Him. Frustration and discouragement may come, but they will only serve to strengthen your character and make you even more appreciative when the work is completed.

The work did stop for quite some time. When they began to rebuild the temple the locals complained to the new king. He not only discovered the records that approved the building of the Temple, but also found out that his kingdom was supposed to fund it. He commanded the opposition to give their tax money to the Jews to pay for the materials (Ezra 6:8).

Consider: When we are frustrated and discouraged that the work of the LORD has slowed or stopped, God may have something even better in mind for the future. His plans can't be stopped. Take courage! Look forward in confident faith!