By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
When it comes to following the plan that God has for us, roadblocks will always crop up.
It’s something that’s happened for centuries. The people of Judah experienced it in the book of Ezra. After being released from Babylonian captivity, God commanded them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.
And they did just that.
They scraped together money, hired masons and carpenters, and celebrated the laying of the foundation. But that’s when they hit their first roadblock.
King Artaxerxes received word that the people of Judah were rebuilding the temple. He believed they were wicked and the restoration of Jerusalem would only cause them to grow stronger. They were a threat to Artaxerxes’ empire. So Artaxerxes writes a letter demanding the Israelites stop construction on the temple immediately.
“Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill…” (Ezra 4:24).
Just like that, it seems as if Artaxerxes thwarted God’s plan. The people of Judah would never be able to continue their mission to rebuild Jerusalem. They may never see the splendor of the Lord’s temple again.
But where God calls, God supplies.
Years later, a new king, Darius, was on the throne and, the prophets of Judah began speaking again, reinforcing the call that God laid on His people: rebuild the temple. And work began once more.
Then comes the second roadblock.
The governor of Trans-Euphrates finds out that construction on the temple had resumed. He goes to the king and rats on the people of Judah. He tells the king that the prophets are claiming to have the blessing of King Cyrus, a Babylonian king from generations ago, who commanded the people of Judah to rebuild their temple.
The current king, Darius, isn’t sure what to believe. To discover the truth, he sends servants down into the archives to search for this decree from Cyrus. They return and inform the king that what the prophets are saying is true, King Cyrus gave them his blessing many years ago.
In a great turn of events, King Darius gives the people of Judah his blessing as well.
“Let the temple be rebuilt…Their expenses are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury…if anyone defies this edict, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled on it” (v. 3-11).
The first few chapters of Ezra teach us that when God calls us, nothing can stand in the way of His plan. Roadblocks may appear, and complications may arise, but God will always be faithful.
For the people of Judah, God took away the royal opposition and replaced it with royal funding and protection! You see, in the pursuit of God’s calling, God can take a crisis and turn it into a blessing.
COVID-19 is a worldwide disaster. Much has changed in the last few months. But not even a pandemic can interrupt the plan that God has for you. Instead, we can have faith that He can turn even our greatest catastrophes into something good.