Ezra 5: Taking the Appropriate Approach
I told you yesterday that we would learn something about appropriate reactions today in Ezra 5. The Israelites had been falsely accused of trying to start a revolution. They were now facing military danger because of these false charges.
However, even though I imagine they must have been a little bit upset, their reaction was the kind of reaction that we need to strive for.
Ezr 5:3 At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?
Ezr 5:4 Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building?
Ezr 5:5 But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.
They went right back to the Persian court. They knew that there was a way that they could prove they were right without confrontation. They wrote a very polite letter that basically said that the Israelites knew that they had been given royal permission, and if anyone wanted to double check, they could search to find that while document that gave them this permission.
It was an all-around pleasant affair. However, it was also firm. The people of Israel knew that they were right, and their letter never wavered. Their tone was also polite. They probably figured that there was very little to be gained by yelling about the injustice. All that would have served to do was irritate everyone else and maybe even create a less favorable situation.
For application in our lives, it is important to remember that our reactions are important. We never have to give up our stance on truth. As you can see here, Israel did not soften that whatsoever. They realized that politeness and tact were in order for the situation to accompany that truth.
We need to remember this as we interact with other people on a daily basis.