Restoration #3, Ezra 4
Topic: Sunday Worship Passage: Ezra 4:1–4:24, 2 Corinthians 6:14–6:18, Matthew 5:12, 2 Corinthians 10:1–10:6
March 22, 2020 Rev. Thomas M. Cox
RESTORATION #3, Ezra 4
A) AN OFFER YOU CAN’T REFUSE...
- Wasn’t this a reasonable request?
- REJECTED: on what grounds?
B) THE A______________ SHOWS THEIR TRUE COLORS & WORK STOPS
- Discouragement, bribery, and frustration:
- Correspondence with the king (vss. 7-22)--
- Appeals to ego: G________ (vs. 13) & the politics of P________ (vss. 14-16)
C) NEW TESTAMENT RESONANCE & APPLICATIONS
- The call to H______ness requires covenant fidelity and the principle of separation.
See 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
- When the people of God take A____ion, they should expect O__________tion.
See Matthew 5:12, 2 Timothy 3:12, 1 Peter 4:12
- Be prepared for spiritual W____fare.
- See 2 Corinthians 10:1-6, Ephesians 6:10-20
Ezra 4:1-6, 23-24 (ESV)
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, 2 they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to Him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses in Israel said to them, “You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”
4 Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build 5 and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem...
23 ...Then, when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their associates, they went in haste to the Jews at Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease. 24 Then the work on the house of God that is in Jerusalem stopped, and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.