The Bad Guys' True Colors

Everything was going along fine until the bad guys showed up in Ezra 4. When they first showed up, they pretended to be "all for" the Jews, and wanted to build with them and claimed that they worshipped the same God. But the leaders saw right through them, and stood up to them.

We have an enemy, who will sneak in and pretend to be something that he is not. Consider 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." Be on guard, and be like the leaders of Israel in Ezra 4 - cut off the conversation before it even begins.

When you refused to play games with the devil, then he will show his true colors and the deception will fade. The wicked men began to trouble those who were building. Then they hired lawyers. Then they sent a letter to the king; it was a deceitful letter with no context concerning the Jew's past and predicting their future.

(1 Peter 5:8) "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" When the devil can't get his way by sneaking in to your life, watch out, for he will attack like the pouncing of a lion. He'll bring up your past, taking it out of context, and leaving out the part about the blood of Christ cleansing you from all sin. He'll predict your future, void of the power of the Spirit of God in your life.

The story doesn't end here - as we will soon see as we progress into the book of Ezra. The story doesn't end here for us, either, at a spiritual attack from the devil. Overcome his attack in your life by resisting him and submitting to God instead, and the Bible promises in James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

(Ezra 4:1-3, 23) "Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; (2) Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. (3) But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. ... (23) Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power."