Ezra 4:1 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.

4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

5 And hired counsellers against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Introductory Thoughts

The book of Ezra provides the details concerning the time when the Israelites returned to their land to rebuild the temple. As they began to build, adversaries within the land became jealous. They did not want the people of God regaining their strength and restoring their true form of worship. The adversaries hired counsellers against the people of God in order to stop the work. Unfortunately, some things never change. Our work may not involve rebuilding a temple, but God’s work always has a purpose that the enemy will seek to undermine. Christians should not be surprised when the Devil sends people into our lives who offer counsel contrary to God’s will. God’s enemies may even seek to hire counsellers to deter us from what we should be doing.

Devotional thoughts

  •  (For children):The Devil knew it was God’s plan for Adam and Eve to walk with God. They were instructed to care for the garden in which God had placed them. The Devil was the first one in the Bible to offer bad advice. He told Eve she wouldn’t die and that she would be wise if she ate of the tree of which God told her not to eat. We should make sure that the advice we listen to agrees with God’s desires.
  •  (For everyone):Have you ever had someone offer advice contrary to the obvious will of God in your life? Why do you think that counsel was given?
  •  Just as the Lord wants us to receive godly counsel, the Devil wants us to receive ungodly counsel. How can we differentiate between God’s counsel and the counsel of the adversary?

Prayer Thoughts

  •  Ask God to give you wisdom to recognize ungodly counsel.
  • Ask the Lord to put a hedge about you in His service.



Quotes from the next volume


Subject: Confusion

Confusion does not always result directly from personal sin, but sin surely causes a great deal of confusion.

Sin takes an otherwise clear and indisputable reality and blurs it with corruption and inaccuracies.

The Bible plainly points out that God is not the author of confusion in the life of any believer.

The Christian home should be a place of clarity that serves to protect from the confusion perpetrated by the world, the flesh, and the Devil.