Ezra 4


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Ezra 4 taught by Julie Adamo

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Ezra 4

  1. 1. Ezra 4 Let the Game Begin
  2. 2. Ezra 4 Let the Game Begin
  3. 3. We Pick The Team <ul><li>&quot;He who is not with me </li></ul><ul><li>is against me” Luke 11:23 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Satan’s First Effort <ul><li>EZRA 4:1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, &quot;Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.&quot; </li></ul>
  5. 5. Tactical Training <ul><li>Weaken from within *Join the team </li></ul><ul><li>Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who were these People? <ul><li>  24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 25 When they first lived there, they did not worship the LORD; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people. 26 It was reported to the king of Assyria: &quot;The people you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires.&quot; (2 Kings 17) </li></ul>
  7. 7. 2 Kings:17 <ul><li>27 Then the king of Assyria gave this order: &quot;Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires.&quot; 28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the LORD </li></ul>
  8. 8. Who Were these People ? <ul><li>32 They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 33 They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought . 2 Kings:17 </li></ul>
  9. 9. 2 Kings:17 <ul><li>  40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>CHRISTIANITY </li></ul><ul><li>FAITH + 0 = Salvation </li></ul><ul><li>Cult </li></ul><ul><li>FAITH + works= salvation </li></ul><ul><li>FAITH + anything else = salvation </li></ul>
  11. 11. EZRA 4:1 <ul><li>When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, &quot;Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria , who brought us here.&quot; </li></ul>
  12. 12. Kings of Assyria <ul><li>Shalmaneser V 727–722 BC </li></ul><ul><li>THE KING WHO CONQUERED SAMARIA (10 Tribes) FROM 2 KINGS 17 </li></ul><ul><li>Sargon II 722–705 BC co-regency with Shalmaneser V from 722–709 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Sennacherib 705–681 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Esarhaddon 681–669 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Ashurbanipa l 669–between 631 and 627 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Ashur-etil-ilani ca. 631–627 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Sin-shumu-lishir 626 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Sin-shar-ishkun ca. 627–612 BC fall of Nineveh </li></ul><ul><li>Harran. Ashur-uballit II 612 BC–ca. 609 BC defeated by Nabopolassar of Babylonia </li></ul>
  13. 13. Northern Kingdom Opportunity <ul><li>38 Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39 Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>2 Kings 17:38-39 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Tactical Training <ul><li>Weaken from within </li></ul><ul><li>Join the Team </li></ul><ul><li>False Help </li></ul><ul><li>Cause Confusion </li></ul><ul><li>Cause Division </li></ul><ul><li>Cause Destruction </li></ul>
  15. 15. EZRA 4:3 <ul><li>But Zerubbabel, Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, &quot;You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.&quot; </li></ul>
  16. 16. 2 Corinthians 6 <ul><li>14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? </li></ul><ul><li>15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? </li></ul><ul><li>16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. </li></ul>
  17. 17. EZRA 4:4-5 <ul><li>  Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Tactical Training <ul><ul><li>WEAKEN FROM WITHOUT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discourage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make them Afraid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire Counselors </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Counselors-Lobbyists
  20. 20. Counselors Possible Jobs <ul><li>Dissuade the exiles from the work </li></ul><ul><li>Dissuade the men of Tyre and Sidon from sending the lumber </li></ul><ul><li>To solicit and hinder any business in the Persian court </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to get edict of Cyrus cancelled </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to influence the ministers who gave advice to Cyrus to think unfavorably toward the Jews </li></ul>
  21. 21. Ezra 4:24 the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a stand still until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
  22. 22. Ezra 4:6 <ul><li>At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes, they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. </li></ul><ul><li>BOOK OF ESTHER </li></ul>
  23. 23. Letter Writing Campaign <ul><li>  EZRA 4:7-8 </li></ul><ul><li>7 And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language. 8 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows: </li></ul>
  24. 24. Ezra 4:9-10 <ul><li>  9 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates—the judges and officials over the men from Tripolis, Persia, Erech and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa, 10 and the other people whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Quote by William Jones <ul><li>“ The popularity of a movement is no proof of its truth or righteousness. Numbers are not a reliable guarantee of the wisdom or worthiness of a cause. Majorities have many times been on the side of falsehood, injustice, and folly.” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Weaken with Lies
  27. 27. Ezra 4:11-12 <ul><li>To King Artaxerxes, From your servants, the men of Trans-Euphrates: </li></ul><ul><li>  12 The king should know that the Jews who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Weaken with Lies <ul><li>1. Hit you where it Hurts Name Calling-Rebellious and Wicked </li></ul><ul><li>Unjust to place indellible brand </li></ul><ul><li>70 Years Model Citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. </li></ul><ul><li>Jeremiah 29:7 </li></ul>
  29. 29. Ezra 4:13 <ul><li>13 Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and the royal revenues will suffer. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Weaken with Lies <ul><li>1. Hit you where it Hurts Name Calling-Rebellious and Wicked </li></ul><ul><li>2. An Unwarranted and Slanderous </li></ul><ul><li>Accusation - Won’t Pay Tribute </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>14 Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonored, we are sending this message to inform the king, 15 so that a search may be made in the archives of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place of rebellion from ancient times. That is why this city was destroyed. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Weaken with Lies <ul><li>3. Dig up the past </li></ul><ul><li>A. Hezekiah </li></ul><ul><li>(Against the Assyrians 2 Kings 18:7) </li></ul><ul><li>B. Jehoiakim </li></ul><ul><li>C. Zedekiah </li></ul><ul><li>(Both against Babylon- 2 Kings 24:1-20) </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>16 We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates. </li></ul>
  34. 34. WEAKEN WITH LIE 4. TWIST THE TRUTH You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies , he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 Absurd Exaggeration Gross Misrepresentation
  35. 35. Weaken with Lies <ul><li>Hit you where it Hurts </li></ul><ul><li>2. An Unwarranted and Slanderous Accusation </li></ul><ul><li>3. Dig up the past </li></ul><ul><li>4. Twist the truth </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>  18 The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence. 19 I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. 20 Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Ezra 4:21-22 <ul><li>21 Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order. 22 Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests? </li></ul>
  38. 38.   As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates, they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop. Ezra 4:23
  39. 39. How to Play the Game? <ul><li>KNOW OUR OPPONENT! </li></ul><ul><li>KNOW THE PLAY BOOK! </li></ul><ul><li>KNOW THE EQUIPMENT AND USE IT! </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5  </li></ul>
  41. 42. <ul><li>No, in all </li></ul><ul><li>these things </li></ul><ul><li>we are more </li></ul><ul><li>than conquerors through him </li></ul><ul><li>who loved us. </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 8:37 </li></ul>
  42. 43. Psalms 55:16-18 <ul><li>But I call to God, </li></ul><ul><li>and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. </li></ul>
  43. 47. Armor of God <ul><li>Belt of Truth </li></ul><ul><li>Breastplate of Righteousness </li></ul><ul><li>Feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace </li></ul><ul><li>The Shield of Faith </li></ul><ul><li>The Helmet of Salvation </li></ul><ul><li>The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. </li></ul><ul><li>Pray in the Spirit on all occasions </li></ul>
  44. 48. God’s Love Language is obedience. <ul><li>2 John 1:6 </li></ul><ul><li>this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. </li></ul><ul><li>John 15:10 </li></ul><ul><li>If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. </li></ul><ul><li>1 John 5:3  </li></ul><ul><li>This is love for God: to obey his commands. </li></ul>