每日诗歌: 活出愛 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4yr-OMR3f4)
Ezra 3 [Read]
Ezra 4 [Read]
Ezra 5 [Read]
John 20 [Read]
Why do we meet resistance in doing God’s work? Shouldn’t God bless everything we do in his name? I have some textbook answers, but such standard answer seldom moves my heart. Maybe we can learn something from today’s OT reading.
After the long exile, the remnant of Israel was finally allowed to go home (Ezr 1). Fifty thousand returned to rebuild their homeland (2:64-65). It’s indeed a joyful occasion. Upon their return, they built the altar for the LORD despite their fear of the peoples around them (3:3). When the builders laid the foundation of the temple, the reaction of the elders were extremely moving (3:12). They seemed to do everything right.
But resistance came. The enemies proposed to join them in building God’s temple (4:2). Rightly, the people led by Zerubbabel rejected their sugar-coated proposal. That infuriated the enemies, and they used every means to frustrate the remnant’s plan (4:5).
The work of rebuild stopped upon such resistance (4:24). It’s not clear why the people could bravely build the altar but faltered under pressure now. The Chinese translation of 4:4 may give us a clue – their hands were let down due to the resistance. They were too afraid to continue, which gave us some idea how terrifying the enemies must have been. So, they caved in and went back to focus on their own houses (Hag 1:4). We could easily point out their weaknesses, but could we have done any better? Resistance can effectively reveal our inner strength.
God sent his prophets to stir people’s heart (5:1). As a result, people repented and came before God with hearts of reverence (Hag 1:12). That’s when God told them “I am with you” (Hag 1:13), and “I will once again shake the heaven and the earth, the sea and the dry land” (Hag 2:6) and “the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house” (Hag 2:9). Resistance is the tool God uses to reveal his power and glory.
I often fail in meeting resistance in a God-pleasing manner, for my flesh tends to take over and run ahead of God. But God is merciful, and he surrounded me with loving brothers and sisters to protect me from falling too far. That helps me grow, so I can face resistances, which meant to build us up, in increasingly mature way. So when resistance comes next time, I pray that God will open your eyes just as he has opened mine.
Keep on reading,