Ezra 4* The adversaries of the temple. (1-5) The building of thetemple is hindered. (6-24)1-5 Every attempt to revive true religion will stir up theopposition of Satan, and of those in whom he works. Theadversaries were the Samaritans, who had been planted in theland of Israel, #2Ki 17|. It was plain that they did not mean tounite in the worship of the Lord, according to his word. Letthose who discourage a good work, and weaken them that areemployed in it, see whose pattern they follow. 6-24 It is an old slander, that the prosperity of the churchwould be hurtful to kings and princes. Nothing can be morefalse, for true godliness teaches us to honour and obey oursovereign. But where the command of God requires one thing andthe law of the land another, we must obey God rather than man,and patiently submit to the consequences. All who love thegospel should avoid all appearance of evil, lest they shouldencourage the adversaries of the church. The world is ever readyto believe any accusation against the people of God, and refusesto listen to them. The king suffered himself to be imposed uponby these frauds and falsehoods. Princes see and hear with othermen's eyes and ears, and judge things as represented to them,which are often done falsely. But God's judgment is just; hesees things as they are.
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