Toeholds become strongholds…

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 4:17-24

The king sent an answer: “To Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, greeting. And now  the letter that you sent to us has been plainly read before me.  And I made a decree, and search has been made, and it has been found that this city from of old has risen against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it.  And mighty kings have been over Jerusalem, who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom tribute, custom, and toll were paid. Therefore make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until a decree is made by me.  And take care not to be slack in this matter. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the king?”

 

Then, when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their associates, they went in haste to the Jews at Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease.  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.

Toeholds become strongholds.  When we allow a minor event to go unchecked it grows into something major.  The phrase “just chill…” today is a good example of this.  Or the phrase “ease up…” could be the same.  The people given a task to do, sent with the blessings of the king at that time, went, began the work then allowed the intimidation of those around them to stall the work and the intimidation grew in power over them.  They ceased to look upward to God and looked on the “bullies” allowing them to hinder the work.  We must keep our focus on the Lord whose work we do.  We cannot allow the intimidation and ill-will of an unbelieving world move from an irritation, a toehold, to a major hindrance, a stronghold. Let us keep our eyes and will focused on the Lord God. Purpose today to follow the Spirit’s lead, not your own.  Pray seeking His will and then walk trusting that He is leading.

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