O. T #1015 "Let us Help"
June 30, 2017
LET IT GLOW
Sometimes when people offer to help us in kingdom work, it is not always best to accept it. Do e pray about it before giving the answer? Thing are not always as they seem. Now it may seem a bit odd, I know. Looks like the more the better to get the work done, but this was not the case for the Jews in todays chapter.
Things were going well with the Jews in Jerusalem. The Temple foundation was laid and dedicated to the LORD. At least the good times lasted for a while. The exiled Jews were busy building homes, planting crops, establishing business and a city. Keep in mind that a settlement of about 50,000 Jews would be a threat to the power, control, and authority of the surrounding communities.
When things were going good, the enemy approached. Let's check it out.
First, the enemies heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the LORD, God of Israel. Obviously, they were very prejudice against the Jews. This went way back to the tie of the southern kingdom.
Next, their strategy was to offer to help the Jews with the work of the building Yeah, we worship your God just as you do. Poey. They also sacrificed to and worshiped false gods in addition to Jehovah. This was against the commands of God.
Those people had settled in Samaria and began the Samaritan nation. They were a mixture of Jews and heathens, not the pure race of Jews. (2 Kings 17:24) (Falwell) When Assyria captured the northern kingdom of Israel, other people were brought into their land; the Israelites intermarried with them. If allowed to settle in the new Jewish settlement, their wicked lifestyle and false worship would eventually infiltrate the pure race of Jews. Those adversaries were determined to discourage or even stop the completion of the Temple, causing them to fail in doing God's will. Things do not always appear as they truly are.
Do we see how we can be urged to cooperate with the enemy, compromising with unbelievers?
Our enemy, Satan, never wants the Lord's work to prosper. Christ is the Builder; Satan is the destroyer. Jesus clearly rejected the Samaritans and their false religion in John 4:20-24. The Samaritans finally built their own temple on Mt. Gerazim and remained separated from the Jews.(Wiersbe)
LET IT GROW
How did Zerubbabel and the high priest answer this offer? Look at verse 3:
You have nothing to do with us to build a 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.
Good answer, sir. We worship only God and Him alone.
Damage was done. The hands of the people weakened. Maybe they were physically threatened and became fearful.
W can expect opposition when we do God's work (2 Tim. 3:12)
Opposition may offer us compromises as in verse 2. Expect this tactic so we are not discouraged.
LET IT GO
Keep worshiping God only.
Stay committed to doing His work; be hopelessly devoted.
Study the Word so I have weapons to stop the arrows of discouragement.