This is How God Protects His People

Ezra 5:3-5
3 At that time Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates went to them* and asked, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure?” 4 They also asked, “What are the names of the men constructing this building?” 5 But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received.

*the Israelites

King Cyrus of Persia, quoted in the first chapter of the Book of Ezra, had already decreed that any Israelites who wanted to do so could go back to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple to God, which the Babylonians had destroyed when they took the Israelites into captivity years before. Over the years of rebuilding, however, this decree was challenged time and again and the efforts of the Israelites were opposed–this quotation from chapter 5 of Ezra is the last challenge.

In a time where it might have been personally beneficial for the Persian kings to halt reconstruction on a temple built for a competing deity, instead the rulers looked with favor on the Israelites and let them continue. Each time rebuilding of the temple for God was challenged or opposed by the “enemies of Judah and Benjamin,” as the Bible calls them, God moved in the hearts of the kings (first Xerxes, then Artaxerxes, and finally Darius) to set the opponents straight.

Even during this time of positive change blended with sharp disappointments for the Israelites, God was watching over them, using even the human rulers of other lands to look after His people. Already God had brought them through the time of Babylonian exile; they were free to return home, so the light at the end of the tunnel was visible. God does the same for us today–He moves in the hearts of any who oppose or threaten His people, as we see by looking back at even recent history.

Therefore, we should not be overly worried by current events, if we trust God completely the way the ancient Israelites did. We just have to be willing to trust that God has all these situations under control, and that He protects His own.

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