Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices (Ezra 3:3 NIV).
It is not surprising that a people who returned from exile and captivity to their own land now lying in ruins are afraid of the peoples around them. But they had come back to their land with a great desire to rebuild the temple of God upon its ruins. And they had a long way to go. But in the meantime they built an altar and started to offer sacrifices.
In many a Christian’s life, the desire to start afresh for God is found. It may have come after a season of straying away from God and His love. Such persons come back to God with a desire to rebuild the ruins of what once was a glorious life for God. Yet many stumble at this point. The fear of peoples around them make them inactive. These peoples could be their immediate relatives, friends or even enemies. What if this fear dominates? The result will be inaction. That means these persons will not go far back in their fellowship with God.
Have you reached such a point in your life? Are you faced with fears of what your dear and near might think of your renewed commitment to follow God wholeheartedly? If you are thinking right now that you would have been able to follow close after God only if there was fair weather; you are wrong. No Christian can afford to wait till the sun shines brightly and the sky is cloudless. The path of duty always takes us through the cloudy blanket of fear. There may not come a time when there is no fear. So forge ahead despite your fear!