The name of Noah, Moses, and David may be familiar to many people, but not Zerubbabel. In the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia, the Lord moved his heart to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1). Among those who responded to this call, Zerubabbel spearheaded the rebuilding of God’s temple in Jerusalem in the 6th century, B.C.
Zerubabbel and his team built the altar on its foundation (3:3), and they appointed Levites to supervise the building of the house of the Lord (3:8). However, their opposition disapproved of their work and sent out people to discourage, threaten, and frustrate their plan (4:4). Eventually, the work came to a standstill (4:24)!
It wasn’t until 15 years later that the prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged Zerubabbel to resume the building work. To no surprise, they were challenged by the governor of the region who then wrote to King Darius to search the royal archives.
King Darius found and honoured the decree of Cyrus. Not only did the king issue a new decree to reassure his approval of the building work, but he also paid for the salary of the workers and the total construction cost of the temple from his royal treasury. The opponents meant it for harm but God turned it for good. They tried to stop Zerubbabel, but they ended up facilitating his progress. Without their opposition, Zerubbabel would not have had the temple totally paid for.
We face challenges, but let not these challenges defeat us. God’s protection and guidance surround us in good and tough times. We may not see a way but God will prepare the way.