(Sunday November 18, 2018)
Read: Ezra 5:1–5
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 8–10;
The eye of their God was watching over [them] . . . and they were not stopped. Ezra 5:5
When an opportunity came to take on a new role at work, Simon believed it was a godsend. After praying over the decision and seeking counsel, he felt that God was giving him this opportunity to take on bigger responsibilities. Everything fell into place, and his boss supported his move. Then things began to go wrong. Some colleagues resented his promotion and refused to cooperate. He began to wonder if he should give up.
When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to build the house of God, enemies sought to frighten and discourage them (Ezra 4:4). The Israelites stopped at first, but continued after God encouraged them through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (4:24–5:2).
Once again, enemies came to hassle them. But this time they persevered, knowing “the eye of their God was watching over [them]” (5:5). They held on firmly to God’s instructions and trusted Him to carry them through whatever opposition they’d face. Sure enough, God moved the Persian king to support the temple’s completion (vv. 13–14).
Similarly, Simon sought God’s wisdom to discern whether he should stay or find a new position. Sensing God calling him to remain, he relied on God’s strength to persevere. Over time, he slowly gained his colleagues’ acceptance.
As we seek to follow God, wherever He places us, we may face opposition along the way. That’s when we need to keep following Him. He will guide us and carry us through.
Remain strong, for God’s eye is on you.
By Leslie Koh
It was a Persian king by the name of Cyrus who ordered the release and return of Israel from Babylonian exile (Ezra 1:1–7). Israel had been waiting for a national deliverer who would be a descendant of King David. Yet according to Isaiah, God had called Cyrus to be his servant and shepherd (Isaiah 44:21–45:6). Is it possible that long before Jesus, God was giving us reason to never give up on His ability to come to our rescue in the most unexpected ways?
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