Esra 4:4-5 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
One thing that you should never forget is that the enemy will stop at nothing to keep you from your purpose. Attempts were made on the lives of Moses, David and Jesus. And the strategy he used against Adam and Eve was to sow the seed of doubting the word of God. Staunch resistance was also levied against the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem even though it was commissioned by God. In Ezra 1, the Lord had stirred up the heart of Cyrus King of Persia to rebuild the house of God at Jerusalem. Despite being sanctioned by God, the people faced great opposition that significantly delayed the time taken to complete the work.
Two of the strategies that were used by the enemy to prevent purpose being fulfilled were stated in Ezra 4:4. Note must be taken of these as they are strategies that may be used against you even now to thwart your purpose. The first strategy is creating fear and doubt. In alluding to that the scripture said “the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah”. They weakened their hands through fear by obtaining a letter from king Artaxerxes’ that ordered the work to cease and then use power and force to threaten any further attempts. As a result the work on the temple was stalled for about 18 years.
The second strategy that was used by the enemy was well orchestrated schemes. The scripture said “they hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose”. That means that the brightest and best were hired to orchestrate schemes that would prevent the people of Judah from making any progress.
The good news is that although the strategies employed may have delayed the building of the temple it did not prevent it. The people of Judah succeeded in their effort to complete their purpose by building on the word of God. Based on Ezra 5:1, the people put their confidence in the words of God, spoken by the Prophet Haggai and Zechariah, and as a result brought to fruition God’s purpose. You can use the same approach to avert any attempts of the enemy to thwart your purpose.
Life Application: Overcome fear and any orchestrated schemes to keep you away from God’s purpose in your life by continually taking action based on the word of God.
Prayer: Lord, you have never stated that opposition won’t come. However, you have stated that you will be with us always. Help me to overcome the plans of the enemy to thwart your plans and purpose for my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.