Whenever you begin to step out and do something significant for God, you can be guaranteed the accusations will start come, just like they did for Zerabbabel.
At a crucial juncture in Israel’s history, Zerubbabel responded to the call of God to begin rebuilding the temple. Although the work started small, it was significant in restoring worship in the land. But as soon as the work began, the accusations started coming:
‘The local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans… [and] the enemies of Judah wrote a letter of accusation against them’ – Ezra 4:4-6a (NLT)
Israel’s enemies did all they could to discourage them (In Hebrew: ‘to weaken’) and frustrate their plans, with the final blow being a letter of accusation which ultimately brought the work to a complete stop:
‘So the work on the Temple of God in Jerusalem had stopped, and it remained at a standstill’ (4:24a)
Although the discouragement and letters of accusation came from people, the enemy behind the enemy was Satan. The word, ‘accusation’ in Hebrew has the same word origin as ‘Satan’; ‘the one who ‘accuses God’s people day and night’ (Revelations 12:10). Ultimately the accuser achieved his desired effect and stopped the work to rebuild the temple.
Whether a temporary standstill or a complete stop, the ultimate intent of accusation is always to stop you from doing God’s work. But as the attacks pile up and your confidence dwindles, don’t confuse the feelings of doubt as the evidence that you are doing the wrong thing. Instead, go back to the word of God which gives us the power to overcome the intimidator.
For the Israelites, this was the word of God spoken through the prophets:
‘At that time the prophets… prophesied in the name of the God of Israel who was over them, [and they] responded by starting again to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem’ (5:1-2a)
Don’t let accusation trick you into stopping any longer! Go back to the word of God and respond with the kind of faith that gets you starting again!