The second temple was begun under Zerubbabel’s leadership in 536 B.C., discontinued in 534 B.C., and not resumed until 520 B.C. when the prophets Haggai and Zechariah exhorted the Jewish people to complete the temple. Inspired by these prophets, Zerubbabel and Jeshua resumed the work. Immediately their opponents challenged them and asked them who gave them the right to resume. They refused to cease unless the Darius king of Persia (521-486 B.C.) issued an edict to this effect. When the opponents of the Jews wrote to Darius, they referred to the Jewish claim that Cyrus had issued a decree to build the temple and asked that a search be made for such a decree.
READING of EZRA 5
Lord, the pressures of this world and its systems often discourage Your people from pressing on in obedience. May I remember that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, and may I take courage, knowing that You have overcome the world.
Meditation passage for today: verses 5, 11