Years after the scattering of Israel, the Lord softened the heart of the king of Persia and the king let the Jews go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Although they faced opposition, the Jews rejoiced as the temple was rebuilt and dedicated. Ezra was a priest who “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it.” He taught the people the law of Moses and helped to rebuild the temple.
Several years later, Nehemiah wanted to join the Jews to help rebuild the city wall. He was a servant to the king and he was sad because he couldn’t join the Jews in Jerusalem. The king noticed that Nehemiah was sad and asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah explained that he wanted to help the Jews rebuild the city. The king allowed him to go, and gave him provisions. Nehemiah was faithful and worked hard to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem even when others mocked and threatened him. He said, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.”
As we build and strengthen the kingdom of God we may face opposition and mocking. Let us remember that we are doing a great work and keep our focus on the Lord and His plan of happiness.
“And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?”
How did the Lord help the Jews start rebuilding the temple and the city of Jerusalem?
How did the Jews show their joy for the temple as it was being built?
How did Ezra prepare himself?
What did Nehemiah do when he faced opposition?
“It is easy to become distracted—to become focused on one burned-out lightbulb or the impolite acts of unkind people, whatever their motive may be. But think of the power we would have as individuals and as a body of the priesthood if, in response to every temptation to lose focus or lower our standards—the standards of God, we responded, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf