The returnees began well, but stopped building the new smaller temple because political opposition led to the government of the day banning any further work for seventeen years. We too should expect opposition from both individuals and governments to the building of that spiritual temple the Church. The message is: don’t give up! Keep on!
“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.” 4:24
Oh how the temporary frustrations of the evil one bear us down!
Bad men conspired against the exiles, playing politics of the worst kind. Similar to in Egypt, a king arose that didn’t know the history and the reasons and the intent of Cyrus.
But God is at work!
Notice though that the work stopped. Completely. It stopped!
But God was at work, He is at work.
It’s good to see that while the physical work of rebuilding the temple stopped (which we know, have seen lots, the building is only an earthly shadow of the heavenly realities), the work of God in His people did not. He was not thwarted!
And that’s a wonderful truth for us to wrestle with as life gets tough, as we are born down or even stopped.
God is not thwarted by man’s design or the brokenness of the world. He is not broken by the machinations of the devil. Satan was crushed! Jesus won us victory! Over death and hell!
Oh what a Saviour, what a King!