Where is the focus?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Ezra 4:1-8

 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the LORD, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here.”  But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers’ houses in Israel said to them, “You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”

Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.  And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.  In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written in Aramaic and translated.  Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:

God moved upon the heart of the leader of the people; they were given grace and a directive to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.  They got as far as the foundation in the building then took their eyes from the God who sent them and permitted those already in the land to intimidate them.  The work stopped and the favor they had been granted was lost.

Do we find favor, begin a work then allow a hindrance to enter and the work falls?  “Keeping our eyes on the mark of the high calling (the target), let us move forward to the prize…”  Avoid hindrances, keep our eyes on Christ and we will be overcomers!  The battle is ours, we cannot lose our focus.

 

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