by Rev Joel Yong
When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people who returned from exile were building a temple for the LORD God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of the families. They told them, “We want to help you build because we worship the same God you worship. We have been sacrificing to him since the time of King Esarhaddon of Assyria, who brought us here.” But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of Israel’s families told them, “It isn’t right for your people and our people to build a temple for our God together. We must build it alone for the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus of Persia ordered us to do.” Then the people of that region discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to continue building. They bribed officials to keep the people of Judah from carrying out their plans throughout the reign of King Cyrus of Persia until the reign of King Darius of Persia.
The enemies of Judah claimed to worship the same God as the exile returnees. They claimed they wanted to help build the temple.
But in reality all they wanted was to sabotage it.
How do I know this?
Because the moment Judah and Benjamin shrewdly declined the enemies’ “help”- these enemies began to spout negative speech and discouraged the people from going ahead.
It’s important always to check our motives for what we do as we serve in ministry …
Else we may mask our hidden agendas of building our own kingdom and purposes behind supposedly godly motives …
Sometimes people may object to certain church growth plans not because it is bad for the church but because of the inconveniences it would cause them and they are unwilling to grow.
We ourselves may be such people!
Always important to check my own motives- that is my own reflection on this text today- may what I say match the motives hidden in my heart’s recesses.