1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a template for the Lord, the God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let is help you build, because, like, you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon King of Assyria, who brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”
Here, we see the enemies of two of the tribes of Israel trying to get in on the temple-building action–they seem to want to ingratiate themselves with whoever has the most power in the region. Either that, or they are looking to sunder Israel from within, insinuating themselves (and thus their gods) into Israel’s worship.
Well, Israel had already had enough trouble with that (as the Book of Judges can attest, with all its alternating Baal and God worship). Zerubbabel, the popular leader at the time, is not willing to put up with any more waffling on the worship of God. He and the heads of all the tribes answer in unison, basically saying, “Get out of here, you’re not really interested in worshipping our God anyway.”
When the enemies hear that, they start trying to undermine the worship in other ways, intimidating the prophets, discouraging the builders, etc. They are actually opposed to the temple being built and God being worshipped, but that didn’t stop them from trying to pass themselves off as fellow believers.
Modern-Day Christian Posers
We may know people like the enemies of Judah and Benjamin in our lives even today. They might go to church every Sunday bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, might be able to quote a few more verses of Scripture than just John 3:16, and they might even try to pass themselves off as “more righteous” than we are. But inside, they don’t truly believe in or know God, and that falseness shows through in the way they conduct their lives–in the way they intimidate rather than encourage others, and the way they undermine others’ worship.
Though the word “poser” isn’t an ancient word, I think it perfectly describes false Christians–they are trying to “pose” long enough to fool God, but they forget Who God is. God can’t be fooled; He knows everything in our hearts, even the stuff we don’t want Him to see. If we are going to dishonor Him by false worship, we might as well not bother trying.