“Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building” – Ezra 4:4
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What are you building in your life? People build all kinds of things. They build houses and businesses, and they also build families, financial freedom, and relationships. In the book of Ezra, the children of Israel were attempting to rebuild the temple after they returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. The Bible explains that, “the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia” (Ezra 4:4-5).
The people of the land were, essentially, haters. They didn’t want to see the people of Judah succeed in their work of rebuilding the temple. So they discouraged them, they even hired counselors to frustrate their plans, and they wrote a letter to the king of Persia, Artaxerxes, to stop them from building.
In the letter they said, “The Jews who came up from you have come to us at Jerusalem, and are building the rebellious and evil city, and are finishing its walls and repairing the foundations” (Ezra 4:12). They even claimed that the Jews would not pay taxes to the king (Ezra 4:13). So the king ordered them to cease rebuilding (Ezra 4:21).
These people went out of their way to stop the children of Israel from rebuilding the temple. And just like there were haters trying to get in the way of the Jews, there will be people who will try to frustrate your plans of building your marriage, your family, your home, your financial freedom, and your relationships. They will try and discourage you and do whatever they can to get you to stop building. When some people see you trying to do positive things in your life, they will work hard to turn those positives into negatives – to bring you down. They will call your good efforts evil.
But you can’t let what others try to do to discourage you stop you from building on your dreams. You can’t allow the naysayers to keep you from achieving your goals. If there were naysayers in the days of the Bible, there are still naysayers today. There will always be haters – people who don’t want to see you do well in life. So just keep on pushing forward, keep on setting goals for yourself, and keep on building positive things in your life.
Even if it looks like the naysayers may succeed, keep on building. Even if you do become a little discouraged by them, keep on building. And even if they are able to frustrate your plans in the slightest bit, keep on building, friends.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20