Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work.
Almost every day we get messages on the internet telling of bad things happening to Christians in so many countries throughout our troubled world. Churches are burned down, homes destroyed, Christians put in prisons, others lose their jobs. It seems the world hates the followers of Jesus.
Two of the Old Testament books Ezra and Nehemiah tell about the situation in Jerusalem when God's people began returning from their many years as prisoners in Babylon. One of the first things they wanted to do when they got back was to rebuild the temple which had been destroyed years before. But we are told that the people who had been settled in Jerusalem when the Jews had been banished tried to stop the temple being rebuilt. They tried to 'discourage and frighten' the people. How do you deal with situations like that?
How do we deal with opposition as we try to live as Christians in a non-Christian world? The people who opposed the rebuilding of the temple were called 'adversaries' - a word from which the word Satan comes. This means we must at all times pray for God's help. The rebuilding work went ahead in fits and starts. Patience was needed and also perseverance. Opposition will come but God's work will ultimately prevail. The temple was rebuilt.
Almighty God, we pray that your Kingdom will be established throughout the world in spite of the opposition from Satan. Amen.