Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ezra-The Day the Enemy Infiltrated

By Mary Vee
Ezra 4

From Ezra's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Ezra. Our seventy years of captivity in Babylon has ended. King Cyrus gave us permission to return to Jerusalem. 

We've settled into our homes, offered sacrifices, and are moving forward to rebuild the temple of God. 

Behind our backs, our enemies met together and devised evil plots against us.

One day, our enemies asked to meet with Zerubbabel, the priest, and the heads of the families. They said, "Let us help you build because, like you, we are searching for your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here."

They were lying. Oooo. They were lying. 

Zerrubabbel, Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel said, "No. We don't want your help in building a temple to our God. We and our Hebrew brothers will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, just as Cyrus, king of Persia, commanded us.

Our enemies left the meeting, but they were not defeated. Their plan was to destroy us by preventing the temple from being completed. 

These enemies brought their families and hung around Jerusalem. They spoke with Hebrews weaving doubtful thoughts into their minds. "If you continue building the temple, your enemies will band together and attack. This work you are doing will be destroyed by your enemies and you will be taken away as slaves again. Wouldn't you rather just leave everything as it is? You don't need the temple."

Our enemies then hired counselors to give input for the building plans. They tried to frustrate those working out the details. Wherever we turned our enemies stood talking with Hebrews, trying to convince them to stop building the temple.

For years we struggled throughout the reign of King Cyrus of Persia even to the reign of Darius, king of Persia.

This has become such a difficult task. Not one day of peace. 

We walked like a person stuck in a bog.

Our spirits fell.

Our energy zapped.

In truth, we were afraid.

I received word that Daniel, who still lived in Babylon as a slave, had another vision. One that showed all our struggles would have an end. One of victory.

Next time, Daniel will tell you about this vision. You'll want to read it. The message is for you, too.

1.  Who wanted to speak to the priest and heads of the Hebrew families?
2.  What did they want?
3.  What did the leaders say?
4.  What plot did they try next?
5.  How did the people of Jerusalem feel?
6.  What news did Ezra receive?

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