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April 7, 2017

After the news was spread abroad of the temple rebuilding project, the Samaritans and other people of the land became upset. In a duplicitous manner, they approached the Jews and asked if they could assist with the building since they sought and sacrificed to the same God; however, the Jews denied them their subversive partnership request.

Consequently, for the next fifteen years and the reign of three Persian kings, these people used adversarial tactics in hindering the rebuilding of the temple. First, they hired counselors to misrepresent and lie about the Jews to the Persian king. Later they wrote a letter to King Ahasuerus with false accusations against the Jews and lastly a letter was sent to King Artaxerxes questioning the loyalty of the Jews and their willingness to pay future taxes if they were allowed to rebuild Jerusalem. After reviewing and researching the claims of the opposition, King Artaxerxes sent a command for the work to cease which the opposition read to the Jews and cruelly enforced.

The statement, “There is nothing new under the sun” remains true. The methods that the opposers utilized in the days of Ezra are the same methods that are used against believers today. As I read the text, I saw deception, attempted infiltration, lies, threats, intimidation, complaints, and frustration. Since the first line of attack did not work over the years, the enemy relentlessly continued their endeavors until they finally got what they wanted.

Reading this chapter reminded me of the words of Timothy, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Our enemy has an arsenal of weapons that he uses on believers, and he will attempt to stop us from doing God’s business, but we must endure, we must pray for discernment, we must reject compromise, and we must continue to press forward despite opposition. This is my gleaning points from Ezra chapter four.


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