Expect Opposition; But Expect Divine Help

When they arrived at the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site.  
. . . When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, "Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to Him . . ."
But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, "You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia commanded us."
Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.
They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Ezra 2:68; 4:1-5

God chose King Cyrus of Persia as an instrument to use in the restoration of His children back to the land of Judah. Cyrus had a divine mandate to provide resources for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. His words to that effect were clear: "The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah."  Cyrus ensured that all the Israelites who wanted to return to Jerusalem were given the freedom to do so. He also ensured that resources were made available for the returnees to both settle and rebuild the temple of God. What God had ordained was about to be fulfilled.

But not so fast! In spite of the divine ordination and in spite of the bountiful availability of resources to build; the plans to rebuild did not proceed as speedily as the Israelites desired. They faced opposition all through the reign of the very King who had made the proclamation for the temple to be rebuilt. The resources were there; the people were willing to work -- but the enemies of Israel opposed the work vehemently. They discouraged the Israelites and "made them afraid to go on building." They even bribed officials of King Cyrus to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus.

Having a divine vision and all the resources needed to accomplish it is no guarantee that everything will be smooth-sailing. We must never be naive to assume that victory will come to us on a silver platter just because we have a vision, mandate or assignment from God. The reality is that we must expect opposition. We must expect that people will rise up to oppose us. We must expect that some will attempt to intimidate, frustrate and discourage us. Their sole goal is to cause us to give up and throw up our hands in defeat. That is the enemy's strategy.

Expect opposition but also remind yourself that the battle is always the LORD's. He will fight for you and undergird you with His mighty right hand. Be encouraged by these words from Isaiah 41:10-11: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish."  So, expect opposition because it is inevitable, but expect divine help because God will fight for you.

Prayer. Lord, I thank you that the battle is not mine but yours. I will stand still and see your deliverance. Amen.