Thursday, July 19, 2012

good work is going to be opposed

Then the work on the house of God that is in Jerusalem stopped, and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Ezra 4:24

Those involved in advancing God's greatness among human institutions will face opposition. In the case of the Jews who came from Persia to rebuild Jerusalem, it came in the form of official political maneuvering. The faction of people who were opposed to the work petitioned the king. They made false accusations insinuating that the reason for reconstruction was rebellion.

The result was that the king moved to shut down the work. Politics succeeded in halting all construction an an edict from the king stopped all building projects in Jerusalem. Those involved in rebuilding the temple had to stop. The opposition won a victory. The good work was cast in a bad light and there was little the returned exiles could do about it for the time being.

Those who want to labor for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom will face opposition from within and without. The opposition in this story began with unexiled Jews who had stayed in the land after the captivity. These Jews complained about the work begun by the returning exiles. And the opposition they made gained political momentum. It became a kind of political persecution. The strongest human forces moved against those who wanted to build. And I think those same principles work against God's projects and Christ's kingdom today. The church will inevitably work against itself with doctrinal disputes and ugly displays to the world from time to time. And secularism and societal pressure will work against the spread of the gospel as well. Good work will face opposition. But, ironically, this is a good sign... It may be be good work if it does not get opposed.

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