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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Dealing with Accusers (Ezra 4)

Have you ever had someone act nicey nice to you one minute and then stab you in the back and accuse you of wrong the next minute? How in the world are you supposed to honor and glorify God in those times? Scripture actually gives us the answer..

After King Cyrus of Persia encouraged the Jews to journey back to Jerusalem and build a temple to their God, many of the faithful returned and started with the building of the altar.

You would have thought they would have first built walls to protect themselves. But they knew the first order of returning to God was to worship Him and rely on Him. So with no physical protection, they built the altar, obeyed the sacrificial laws, and even kept the Feast of Tabernacles.

They rightly chose to put their spiritual lives in order before ensuring their national defense.

But then as they began building the temple of the Lord we are told "the enemies of Judah and Benjamin" came and said they wanted to "help." Thankfully God gave the Jews discernment. They knew their real motivation was to infiltrate and disrupt the project to prevent Jerusalem from becoming strong again. So Zerubbabel and the others refused their help.

If they would have partnered with these unbelievers, they would have been led to compromise their faith.

Ezra 4:1-6 Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the Lord God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ households, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here.” But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers’ households of Israel said to them, “You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the Lord God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us.” Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. Now in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

Just like in Zerubbabel's time, followers of Jesus should expect opposition today, including accusations, when they make a commitment to follow and obey Him alone. Evil spiritual forces are always working against God and looking for opportunities to steal, kill, and destroy.

So as we approach the end of the church age, we should expect that opposition to increase. That opposition may offer compromising alliances and attempt to discourage, discredit, and intimidate us with unjustly accusations just as we see here in Ezra 4:6.

But if we expect these tactics, we won't be blindsided by them. We must keep moving ahead focused on the work Jesus has put before us and trusting in Him to show us how to overcome these obstacles in a way that brings Him glory.

Notice also these enemies of Zerubbabel claimed to worship Zerubbabel's God. Likewise, there are many today who claim to be a "Christian" but refuse to believe and follow all that God has given us throughout the Bible. They just want to pick and choose the parts that support what sounds good to them and skip the rest. We cannot truly be a follower of Christ and just use the Bible to serve our own interest, following the parts we like and dismissing the parts that require us to submit, follow, and do things God's way rather than what seems right in our own eyes.

So those who don't want to be reminded that being a follower of Jesus means submitting to everything He says will try to debate, discourage, and accuse you when you try to give Jesus your whole heart. Do it anyway! And when evil comes at you and tries to knock the wind out of your sails, STOP, DROP, and PRAY right there on the spot. Pray out loud. Pray for your accuser, in front of them. Then move on, focused on the work that Jesus has before you and keep your eyes on Him.

Dear Lord, I am behind in my daily reading. And this morning I was so tempted to just power read through the rest of Ezra and get caught up. But had I done that and not just stopped and taken in what You had for me here in Ezra 4, I would have missed out on the application You gave me which I know will be invaluable for me to remember and may even be something someone else needs to hear, today. Thank you Lord, for your timing and the encouragement I always receive in Your Word!

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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