Ezra 4:12–13: “Let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you have come to us at Jerusalem, and are building the rebellious and evil city, and are finishing its walls and repairing the foundations. Let it now be known to the king that, if this city is built and the walls completed, they will not pay tax, tribute, or custom, and the king’s treasury will be diminished.”

July 25th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The nations that had been living in the land while the Israelites were in exile were not happy at their return. They attempted to stop their work on Jerusalem and the temple by throwing obstacles in their path. The returned exiles allowed this opposition to turn them from their great task, and the work of the Lord was stopped for 16 years.

We should not be surprised when we find God allowing opposition to come against us, even when we are doing exactly what He wants us to do. It seems He uses obstacles to form our character, forging us on the anvil of life. American author James A. Michener touched on this human and spiritual fact in his historical novel, Chesapeake. He wrote:

A ship, like a human being, moves best when it is slightly [hindered by] the wind, when it has to keep its sails tight and attend its course. Ships, like men, do poorly when the wind is directly behind, pushing them sloppily on their way so that no care is required in steering or in the management of sails; the wind seems favorable, for it blows in the direction one is heading, but actually it is destructive because it induces a relaxation in tension and skill. What is needed is a wind slightly opposed to the ship, for then tension can be maintained, and juices can flow and ideas can germinate; for ships, like men, respond to challenge.

“LORD, help us to face the wind today and grow to become the men and women of God that You want us to be.”