Ezra 9&10

The Enemy is the Enemy

Back in chapter 4 we read that the enemies of Judah and Benjamin wanted to help in the rebuilding of the temple. Their offer was refused and so the people of the land set out to discourage those rebuilding the temple. They did get the reconstruction stopped for a time but with the support of the king the construction was resumed.

Now years later we read in Chapter 9&10 that the people who returned to rebuild the temple have given their sons and daughters in marriage to the very people they rejected when they offered to help with the rebuilding. This went on long enough for the families to have children. Not only that but we also read that the sons of the priests were involved as well.  There was no way to remedy this problem without causing a lot of pain. But then, that is always the way with sin. It usually effects more than the sinner.

Back in Numbers 22-25 we saw the same thing happen. The king of Moab hired Balaam to curse Israel promising Balaam great wealth to do so. Balaam however, was prevented from cursing Israel by God but his desire for the money did not stop him. Instead of cursing Israel he counseled the king how to get Israel to bring a curse upon themselves instead. He told the king to send in the pretty young maidens and get the young men interested to the point where the girls could introduce these men to the idols of Moab. This is exactly what took place and resulted in 24,000 of Israel dying in a plague.

The same was true for Eli the priest in 1 Samuel 2. His sons were serving as priests representing God to the people but living the ways of the world to the point they brought a curse upon themselves. God removed His hand of protection from them and Eli and his sons died on the same day.

It is important that we take our relationship with the Lord seriously as the Apostle Paul warns in 2 Timothy 3. It is one thing to be in church on Sunday but how we live our lives Monday through Saturday is just as important. God is not impressed with casual Christianity. If our walk does not match up with our talk; that is, act like a saint on Sunday but embrace sin the rest of the week, we can expect real problems. In the three examples we have just talked about we saw the painful consequences of sin, a plague, and judgement.

We might fool others or even fool ourselves, but we cannot fool God.  Jesus has paid the price for our redemption and salvation. Our enemy cannot condemn us nor bring a charge against us we are told in Romans 8. However this does not mean that we no longer have an enemy. He is not above using deception and temptation to cause us to fall or be discredited in the eyes of those around us, especially family and friends. In past studies we learned that we get our word scandal from the Greek word that means the trigger on the trap where the bait is put. Our enemy Satan has no problem with putting something appealing before us so he can trip us up, and entrap us. He knows what will be most appealing to those who are casual in their relationship with the Lord and don’t take Satan or the Lord seriously.

Remember, the enemy is still the enemy!

Pastor Dave