Finish the Job
Father, please help me to understand what it means to move forward with my convictions even when the situation might look risky.
Read Ezra 5:1–17
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere” (William the Silent, aka William of Orange, 1544–1584).
Nothing has changed. Years passed by and the people settled into a quiet and inactive life. The enemies who lived on the opposite hill were still determined to drive off the Jews. What is more, the Persian king remained opposed to their rebuilding the Jerusalem Temple. No wonder the builders were discouraged. Then came the voice of God from heaven through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. We can’t imagine what it was like for the discouraged leaders Zerubbabel and Joshua to hear God’s message through God’s messengers. No wonder the passage tells us, “the prophets of God were with them, supporting them” (2). A subsequent verse describes why Judah’s leaders stiffened their resolve: “The eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews” (5). God cared for them.
Amazingly, nothing had changed to reignite the Temple construction except that the Lord had spoken. From this, the builders gained muster knowing that because he had spoken to them through the prophets they could finish rebuilding the Temple. A message from God was all they needed to resume the work that had stopped for many years due to fear of their enemies.
We have all been here in our own lives. We refuse to move forward with this or that action because we fear the potential consequences. Like the Jewish Temple builders, we feel powerless in the face of opposition. In our minds little is worse than risking a bad outcome due to personal threat. But God calls us to take calculated risk. We must not make foolish decisions that are sure to fail—that’s not a risk; it’s recklessness. Often, even when we have done all the research we can, we stand at the edge knowing we should move forward, yet we just can’t do it.
What holds you back from doing what you know you should? Listen to God’s voice in his Word to find strength and wisdom to keep going.
Father, there are unfinished matters in my life, but I am afraid to revisit them. Please give me strength and resolve to get the job done.