“Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.”
Ezra started rebuilding the temple because the LORD had touched the heart of a heathen king. It was a heathen king who said in Ezra 1:3, “Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.” Several thousand people volunteered to return to build the house of the LORD because of this decree.
However, as is always the case whenever the LORD begins to do a work, Satan will always try to stop it. You must not think that everyone will be happy when you do the LORD’s work. You will find opposition and criticism whenever you do the LORD’s work, but that should never cause you to cease doing it. Ezra’s opposition sent a letter to Artaxerxes that was filled with lies about the purpose of the building project, and unfortunately, he believed the lies. Because of this letter, the king sent an army of men to force the work to cease.
What is sad is that for a few years the temple sat unfinished, but two men chose that the temple would not stay unfinished on their watch. Zerubbabel and Jeshua made a choice that God’s work was not going to cease on their watch. If they were the only two who spent their life rebuilding the temple, they were content with that thought; however, their actions provoked others to rise and help rebuild the temple until it was finished. It was the actions of two men who chose not to let God’s work go unfinished that caused this work to be finished.
There needs to be a Christian in every church who makes the choice that God’s work will not go unfinished on their watch. As long as your city is not reached for Christ, you need to have the courage to rise and do the LORD’s work. One of the reasons so many churches flounder today in the LORD’s work is because there are no people who won’t let their church stay in its present apathetic condition on their watch. Whenever you see something not being done in your church, you should have the desire to be sure it gets done.
Moreover, you must not expect others to have the same motivation. You will soon find out in the LORD’s work that you will often be one of the few who won’t let the LORD’s work die on your watch; however, you mustn’t allow the actions of the majority to hinder you from doing the work God has placed on your heart. If God has touched your heart to do something for him, don’t wait for others to rally around you; just decide that if you must do it alone, you are content with being the only one who does His work.
Christian, what you will find is when you have the courage not to let the LORD’s work die on your watch, others will rally to you and help you. It may be lonely for a while, but others will be encouraged and will want to be a part of the great work. It only takes one person taking a stand to rally the fearful who still have the same spiritual desires but don’t have the courage to do it on their own. Will you be that one who says, “Not on my watch.” Remember, it has always been the one who stood when others would not stand that made the difference. I challenge you to be that one in your church.