Facing Opposition: How do we react?
Trust God and walk forward with radical faith?
Today we are moving from the pause to resuming the work in Ezra, chapter five. Let’s begin with a summary.
Haggai and Zechariah prophesied in the name of God to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem. So then Zerubbabel and Jeshua arose and began rebuilding the house of God in Jerusalem.
Thus, the opposition.
Hence, Zerubbabel and Jeshua find themselves confronted with opposition.
“Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?” (Ezra 5:3)
“What are the names of the men who are building this building?” (Ezra 5:4)
According to The Wiersbe Bible Commentary:
- “It was Tattenai’s responsibility as governor to apprise the king of matters in the region, lest there was any threat to his kingdom. Possibly he was concerned the Jews were planning to revolt.”
- “The Jews didn’t look upon the Persian officer as a trouble maker, and graciously answered their questions. After all, they had nothing to hide. They were confident God was on their side.”
However, “The prophets of God were with them, supporting them.” (Ezra 5:2)
Subsequently, the governor of the region and surrounding regions compose a letter to King Darius, making him aware of what the Jews were doing.
The words of Tattenai and his officials strike my heart in verse 8:
“Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands.”
While King Darius sends his people to the archives to investigate the matter, Zerubbabel and Jeshua carry on. Never flinching. And, without question.
In summary, while facing opposition, their work continues.
What can we learn from this passage?
- Zerubbabel and Jeshua were obedient.
- Zerubbabel and Jeshua continued God’s work in the face of opposition.
- Most importantly, they trusted in God’s protection.
What does this say to us in our current circumstances?
Subsequently, to answer the question requires a heart check, or as my Pastor would say, “a self-examination.”
Afterward, we ask ourselves the hard question.
When facing opposition, how do we react?
Can we pause a moment and collectively sigh, “OUCH?” Please, and thank you.
How do we react when facing opposition?
Yesterday was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” (from the David books by David Shannon) My reaction was just as terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad. Honestly, I wish I could tell you differently, but I cannot.
I suspect you understand.
By the way, before we address the next question, I want you to feel God’s grace wash over you.
The Lord loves us with an everlasting love. He is patient, slow to anger, abounding in love, and quick to forgive when we take our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad behavior before Him.
Repenting and asking forgiveness.
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (ESV)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (ESV)
“Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” Nehemiah 9:31 (ESV)
“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5 (ESV)
“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:6 (ESV)
How should we act when facing opposition?
As Believers, we need to be reflecting the goodness and grace of God rather than repelling.
We can also follow the example of Zerubbabel and Jeshua.
“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.” Ezra 5:2 (ESV)
Likewise, we arise and do the work. We are called to love God, love others, and proclaim the Gospel. We do that with obedience, fearless faith, trusting in God’s protection and provision.
We learn from Ezra, chapter five, that God was with them. If He was with them, can’t we trust that He is with us?
Dearest Reader, here’s what I am learning from Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.
It is through these stories of real people where I fall in love with God. I fall in love a little more with each word, each story, each time I sit with them. If we’ve seen God do it for them, can’t we trust him to do the same for us?
I begin to see the God who parted the Red Sea is reachable to me. And He is reachable to you.
In summary, we trust God and walk forward with radical faith.
We know that we know that God is with and He is for us.
I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Wilderness Guide,
*Scripture quotes are from Bible.com
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“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word