A couple of years back, I fell head over heels in love with the book of Nehemiah. As I studied it out, I discovered so many life lessons that have impacted me deeply. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve grown to appreciate the book of Ezra in much the same way. Both books are those of restoration and rebuilding. They explore specific emotions like doubt, discouragement, and regret. And while the books hold many similarities, they each offer their own unique viewpoint.
The book of Ezra showcases the rebuilding of the temple amidst great turmoil and opposition. In the first few chapters, we see the enemies of God’s people causing trouble (like the bullies they were) and hindering the Jews’ progress. But in the sixth chapter, everything changes. At the request of the governor and some of his minions, King Darius searches the historical records and finds that King Cyrus had made a decree concerning the temple. Not only did this scroll say the Jews could rebuild the temple and take back the precious things that had been stolen but also that the cost of the entire project would be paid for by the king’s treasury. Whoa!
I would love to have seen the face of the governor and his goons when King Darius sent back word they were not to hinder the Jews any further. Not only that, he commanded they help them and provide for them, and the refusal to do so held weighty consequences. Just like that, the opposition turned from hindering to helping, which reminds me that God fights for His children.
It doesn’t matter how significant the opposition is, God is all-powerful. He can and will take care of His children. Sometimes He works through miraculous feats, and sometimes He uses the enemy to deliver help at just the right time. Either way, the message is the same—God’s got this!