Ezra 4 Commentary
It can be a moment of pride when the LORD lets you hear the enemy talk about your privileged position. Of course, the enemy is hurting inside and very envious. Their fear of you drives them to hate. Unfortunately for Israel, this is all in the past. Yes, there was a time when Israel had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them.
If there was opposition to the reconstruction of the temple, it was justified and for good reasons. The saint must always know this. They carry with them a past, a present, and a future which is a real menace in the enemy camp. It must be stopped. The presence of opposition, therefore, becomes evidence of the presence of the LORD’s favor over the saint’s life. The enemy seeks to stop it at all costs and by any means necessary.
The first strategy by satan was enticement. He showed up as the angel of light. “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him.” The attack was wrapped in goodwill. How many times have saints fallen to smiling assassins? But they leave you in pain and in a very difficult spiritual situation. Zerubbabel and Joshua would have none of it. How we should pray for this kind of attitude!
Undeterred by the first failure, satan went on to use discouragement and fear, in addition to bribery. At times saints have faced paid opposition. By any means necessary, the saint shouldn’t succeed. And it worked as the work was frustrated during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. But not permanently.
The work of the LORD experienced more opposition during the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerses.
Behind this high-level opposition was the prince of Persia. Let not the worship of the LORD start. But again we know that the LORD had promised to restore Israel back to their own land and that the temple would be rebuilt. Has this word of the LORD failed? Has the enemy succeeded in stopping the works on the temple of the LORD, God Almighty? The next chapter has more details, but that is for tomorrow.
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