A new preacher at the local church walked into the auditorium of His new church. He thought it
would be best to move the piano from the right side of the stage to the left side of the stage, so he
moved it. Soon after he was fired for the disruption caused by the new placement of … More
Every attempt to revive true religion will stir up the opposition of Satan, and of those in whom he works. The adversaries were the Samaritans, who had been planted in the land of Israel. It was plain that they did not mean to unite in the worship of the Lord, according to His word. Those who discourage a good work, and weaken them that are employed in it often make a pattern to follow (vv. 6-16). The third effort to stop the rebuilding of the temple is a letter sent by the enemy to Artaxerxes with false accusations. In the first year that Xerxes was king, [the Samaritans] wrote to him an accusation against the [returned] inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem (vv. 6-10). The contents of the letter states that if the walls are completed and the city is rebuilt, the Jews won’t pay any kind of taxes, and there will be less money in the treasury (vv. 11-13).
It was intended to mean that the prosperity of the church would be hurtful to kings and princes (vv 14-16). Nothing can be more false, for true godliness teaches us to honor and obey our sovereign. But where the command of God requires one thing and the law of the land another, we must obey God rather than man, and patiently submit to the consequences. All who love the gospel should avoid all appearance of evil, lest they should encourage the adversaries of the church. The world is ever ready to believe any accusation against the people of God, and refuses to listen to them. The king allowed himself to be imposed upon by these frauds and falsehoods. Princes often see and hear with other men’s eyes and ears, and judge things as represented to them, which are often done falsely.
I need to be careful not to let other people get me sidetracked from what God wants me to do.
And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written in Aramaic and translated. Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows: Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the judges, the governors, the officials, the Persians, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites, and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River. (This is a copy of the letter that they sent.) "To Artaxerxes the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. Now be it known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired. Now because we eat the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king's dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king, in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste. We make known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River."
View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Ezra 1:1-11Exiled Jews Return to Their Homeland
Ezra 2:1-13Many Preferred The Comfort of Babylon
Ezra 2:59-70The People Gave What They Could
Ezra 3:1-13The People Rebuild The Temple
Ezra 4:1-5Resistance to Building The Temple
Ezra 4:6-16Rebuilding of Jerusalem Opposed
Ezra 4:17-24The King Stops The Rebuilding of Jerusalem
Ezra 5:1-5Restoration of The Temple Resumed
Ezra 5:6-17The Work on The Temple Progresses
Ezra 6:1-12The Temple is Completed
Ezra 6:13-22The Temple is Dedicated
Ezra 7:1-10Ezra Arrives in The Land
Ezra 7:11-28Ezra Gets a Letter From The King