Read Ezra 5:1-6:22
It was in the year 538 b.c. that Cyrus, King of Persia, permitted thousands of Jews to return from their captivity in Babylon to their homeland and its capital city of Jerusalem. Shortly after their homecoming, they began to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. These were great milestones in Jewish history and in the plan of God.
But not everyone welcomed the Jews back with open arms. And not everyone supported their efforts to reconstruct the temple for worship. It seemed that construction workers encountered opposition on every side. This opposition culminated in a letter from a new king instructing them to stop.
But God’s plan is unstoppable!
He can use pagan leaders to see that His purposes are accomplished. Even the Babylonian exile had been part of His plan to bring punishment on His people. God used Nebuchadnezzar, a foreign king, as His servant to bring that about. Similarly, He chose to direct Cyrus, King of Persia, to bring His people back and begin construction.
He uses courageous people to create forward momentum. Even though it was “illegal” to build, God spoke through prophets like Haggai and Zechariah to cause people to get back to the project. In spite of opposition, men like Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and other prophets returned to the work site.
He uses normal people to bring about the impossible. Once the records were found and another decree had been given, others joined in the project . . . and brought it to completion. How great the celebration must have been as God’s people finished and dedicated His house! How meaningful it must have been to celebrate that first Passover in decades!
God’s purposes cannot be thwarted! And He uses all kinds of people to accomplish them.
What is it that God purposes today? Jesus described another construction project that is front and center in the plan of God. He said, “I will build My church!” (Matt. 16:18). Nothing will thwart His efforts and yet He also invites you and me to join Him in this undertaking. It will necessitate courage. Your role will include going and proclaiming the gospel to those who don’t know Jesus and being a blessing to those who do. Though the opposition is real, His plan is being realized. Are you part of the team on the construction site?