Day 92 of 240 Days Bible Reading Group 3947 Ezra 01 to 04
Ezra was the writer of I Chronicles, II Chronicles, and Ezra. . 60 years later after the 1st exile, Ezra led the 2nd group of exiles to Israel.
♦Ezra was a priest, a direct descendant of Aaron.
♦He was born in Babylon, but got permission to lead the people to go back to Jerusalem .
📍 Ezra was very upset about the way of life of Israelites and wanted to do something about it.
🔥 The book of Ezra is a time of new beginnings for the people of Judah.
👉They have come out of captivity to the broken ruins of Jerusalem and the temple.
👉They have work to be done.
📍 They need a new start.
📍 Ezra, and several other men of God, led the people to rebuild the temple to God.
👉For most of us, the New Year is a new beginning; …
a fresh start,
a second chance,
a clean slate,
a resolution to do better, etc.
It is filled with hope and possibilities.
📍 New Beginnings are possible no matter how far we have gone off track.
📍📍 New Beginnings must start off humbly.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
👉When we come to Christ, ………...
God gives us ….
♦a whole new life:
♦a new relationship,
♦a new citizenship,
♦a new family,
♦a new purpose,
♦a new power,
♦a new destiny.
It's the beginning of a whole new life.
🔥 LET’S STAY FOCUSED ON THE ONE GUIDING US: CHRIST.
🌸 🌸 Jooley Mathew 🌸🌸 JM 🌸🌸
Daniel and Cyrus
Ezra 1: The deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions had been used of God to create a favorable impression upon the mind of Cyrus the Great.
The sterling qualities of the man of God as a statesman of farseeing ability led the Persian ruler to show him marked respect and to honor his judgment.
And now, just at the time God had said He would cause His temple at Jerusalem to be rebuilt, He moved upon Cyrus as His agent to discern the prophecies concerning himself, with which Daniel was so familiar, and to grant the Jewish people their liberty.
As the king saw the words foretelling, more than a hundred years before his birth, the manner in which Babylon should be taken; as he read the message addressed to him by the Ruler of the universe, "I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me; that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me;" as he saw before his eyes the declaration of the eternal God, "For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast known Me;" as he traced the inspired record, "I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build My city, and he shall let go of My captives, not for price nor reward," his heart was profoundly moved, and he determined to fulfill his divinely appointed mission (Isaiah 45:5, 6, 4, 13).
He would let the Judean captives go free; he would help them restore the temple of Jehovah.
The Faithful Remnant
Ezra 3:1-6 The setting up of the altar of daily burnt offerings greatly cheered the faithful remnant. Heartily they entered into the preparations necessary for the rebuilding of the temple, gathering courage as these preparations advanced from month to month. They had for many years been deprived of the visible tokens of God's presence. And now, surrounded as they were by many sad reminders of the apostasy of their fathers, they longed for some abiding token of divine forgiveness and favor. Above the regaining of personal property and ancient privileges, they valued the approval of God. Wonderfully had He wrought in their behalf, and they felt the assurance of His presence with them; yet they desired greater blessings still. With joyous anticipation they looked forward to the time when, with temple rebuilt, they might behold the shining forth of His glory from within.
Be on the Alert
Ezra 4:1-5 Those who, like the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin, come with smooth words and fair speeches, apparently seeking for friendly alliance with God's children, have greater power to deceive. Against such every soul should be on the alert, lest some carefully concealed and masterly snare take him unaware. But though the conflict is a ceaseless one, none are left to struggle alone. Angels help and protect those who walk humbly before God.
Ezra 3:8 Why was the Lord's temple begun first, even before the city wall? The temple was used for spiritual purposes; the wall, for military and political purposes. God had always been the nation's protector, and the Jews knew that the strongest stone wall would not protect them if God was not with them.
They knew putting their Spiritual lives in order was a far higher priority than assuring the national defense.
Nisha - Canada
🍇 Simple thoughts for
💫 deeper meditation
Ezra: 1:1 "In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing...".
Ezra is one of the Old Testament books that deals with the Israelite's return to the land of promise after their exile in Babylon.
⚡ First of all God used Nebuchadnessar, King of Babylon to deport the Israelites as prophesied by prophet Jeremiah. ( Jeremiah: 25:11-12, 39:10)
⚡ But there was one person to pray for his nation and for the people. That was Daniel. He confessed his sins and his people's sin and pleaded with God to end the Babylonian captivity. ( Daniel : 9) In response, God sent an angel to speak to Daniel.( Daniel : 9:21 ) Later he stirred up the spirit of Cyrus to release his people.
⚡ The King's heart was changed and he allowed the exiled Israelites to go home and worship.
⚡ In a world that seems out of control, we can be assured that God can move the hearts of the rulers. We read in Proverbs:21:1that
" the King's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord, he turns it wherever he will" and Romans:13:1 says that " there is no
authority except from God"
💎 Our God is sovereign.
He used a Nebuchadnessar to deport his people to Babylon and moved a Cyrus to release them because there was a Daniel to
intercede for them. Dare to be a Daniel for the sake of your nation?
Dr. Thomas David.🎯
Ezra 1:1 "... the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia ...."
🔹It is God alone who directs the stream of redemption throughout history to its appointed end.
🔹In doing so, He sometimes chooses to humble mighty rulers(e.g., Nebuchadnezzar [Daniel 4]), send destructive judgement on rulers(e.g., Pharoah during the exodus and Belshazzar in Babylon), or exalt an international leader(King Cyrus of Persia) in order to fulfil His Word and accomplish His purposes.
🔹By stirring the spirit of Cyrus to be benevolent toward conquered and exiled peoples, God enabled His Word of promise through Jeremiah to be fulfilled on time.
🔹Proverbs 21:1 declares that a king's heart is like rivers of water in the hand of God, which God directs wherever He wishes in order to assure the ongoing course of redemption and the ultimate conclusion of history.
Points to ponder
▶What can we learn from the story of the return of the first batch of Jews from exile?
▶Is any one undergoing a phase of exile in their lives currently?
▶If so, have you received a word from God regarding its completion?
▶If anyone has prophesied over you are you able to discern between true and false prophets of God?
▶Is anyone on the verge of competing the phase of exile and waiting on God for a new beginning?
🔅In such situations we need to be receptive to God's leading.
🔅Many times even when our exile is over, the initial phase of beginning again may not be smooth as expected.
🔅Very often, some blunders made in the past require a considerable amount of time to completely rectify.
🔅Nevertheless we need to persevere in the promises of God, as what He has promised He will fulfil.
🔅Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man that He should lie, not a human that He should change His mind."
Loving Heavenly Father
We thank you for the story of the return of the first batch of Israelite exiles. We believe that you are a God of restoration. Help us to discern your will in our lives. We also ask you to enable us discern between your true prophets and those prophets who are not from you.
In Jesus name Amen
📖📖 240 ✝ 240 📖📖
Blessed to be a Blessing to the Blessed People 👨👨👧👦
📖 Ezra Chapter 2: 68-69 PROPORTIONATE GIVING ACCORDING TO OUR ABILITY
The principle of Giving in proportion to our Ability can be traced out in both OT and NT. In the wilderness the Lord gave the specification for the tabernacle and it is to be built using resources from within the community given freely by anyone whose heart prompts them to give. The people were asked to give precious metals , expensive dyed wool and linen , goat hair for weaving , leather, acacia wood, olive oil, spices and precious stones ( Exodus 25: 1-7) .
How would they give? They were under slavery in Egypt for so many years , and now they are in the wilderness !!
🎈 But the records states that all the Israelites brought their offerings freely :
✒ "..and everyone who was WILLING and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering.." Exodus 35:21-28
✒ "All the Israelite men and women who were WILLING brought to the Lord FREEWILL OFFERINGS.." Ex 35:29
🎈 In today's reading portion the returning exiles gave FREEWILL OFFERINGS according to their ABILITY ( 2:68-69 ) towards the rebuilding of the house of God.
# In the above events we have seen that there was A Joy of Giving amongst the people 🙌
✅ What about us today ? Does it ( Principle of Proportional Giving) makes a sense to us ?
Yes , we all AGREE but WORKING IT OUT in our daily lives is not quite so simple.
Our chosen lifestyle affects our ability to practice GENEROSITY.
🎈 A time to ponder upon : "Let us throw off everything that hinders us..... " Heb 12:1
In today's world, ".. .. as we excel in everything , let us also excel in GIVING " 2Cor 8: 7
📝 During World War II , when fuel was precious, billboards routinely asked motorists, "Is this trip necessary ?" Every resource used for individual convenience was one less resource for the Country's Central Concern 👉🏽 WINNING THE WAR .
💞 Beloved, we are also engaged in a great battle that requires great resources. We too must realize that spending resources on our own private concerns leaves less resource for our Kingdom's Central Concern. We should ask :
Is this thing necessary ?
Is this thing an asset to me as a SOLDIER OF CHRIST?
✅ Paul commanded the believers in Corinth to "give in proportion to their incomes " 1Cor 16:2 . He further commended the Macedonian Christians, who "gave as much as they were able , and beyond their ABILITY " 2Cor 8:3
🎈May the good Lord bless us and mould us to give Him
🎈 It is more blessed to GIVE Acts 20:35
Glory to God 🙏
Mark Boje, ArP🌄
GOD'S MOVE - IN THE HEART OF A KING
After 70 years of exile, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy through the prophet Jeremiah. King Cyrus, who didn't know the living God, ordered to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem! The Bible clearly says that "God moved the heart of Cyrus " to give such an order.
God moved the hearts of the people to come together to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.
They were given all that they needed to build the Temple.
They appointed priests according to their genealogy to do priestly tasks.
The first thing they did was - rebuilt the Altar and sacrificed offerings to the Lord who had been merciful to them and released them from captivity.
When the Lord wants to accomplish His will, He will use anyone,.anywhere to fulfil it. He provides all the necessary things and money and people will rise up in unity to do God's work.
We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit who moves people's hearts and should be sensitive to His leading through God's Word.
The second thing the people did was - rebuilt the Temple - laying foundation with shouts of joy. The elders who saw the former Temple cried loudly and one could not make a difference between the joyful tears and sorrowful tears.
When we bend our knees before God, remembering His acts of kindness, we shed tears of joy.
Whenever we try to do God's will, especially in ministry, Satan tries to stop us by raising opposition or discouragement.
We need not be afraid of opposition as God who begins a particular work will help to finish though there will be hindrances.
Dear Reader, take courage through His work." He who has begun a good work in you will finish it".
In accordance with the prophecy given by Jeremiah and the prayer made by Daniel, Daniel 9:1-3, 10:2, 11:1, God begins to move in order to fulfill the same! He stirs the mind of King Cyrus of Persia, Ezra 1: 1, prompting him to build a temple in Jerusalem, vs 2. Then God stirred the leaders of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and the Levites to go to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, vs 5. Next, God stirred their neighbors to assist them with silver utensils, gold, equipment, animals, and expensive gifts, not to mention all the voluntary offerings, vs 6! King Cyrus himself, entrusted the vessels of the Lord’s temple, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem, to the treasurer who would be accompanying them, vs 7,8. After they reached there, Joshua and Zerubbabel, together with their colleagues, began to build the altar of the God of Israel, Ezra 3:2.
Next they observed the festival of temporary shelters, vs 4. They then arranged for the cedars of Lebanon to be brought so that the work of building of the temple could be initiated, vs 7,8. This was finally completed in the second year in the second month, in the midst of loud shouts of praise and weeping too, vs 12! Subsequently, when their enemies sought to help in the work and were forbidden, Ezra 4:1-5, they began to use people to discourage them from completing the work and when that didn't work they tried ways and means to stop the work! They even succeeded in making false allegations to the Kings of Persia, and so, the work came to a halt until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia. During the reign of King Darius, a man named Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues sought to stop the work and sent a written complaint to King Darius regarding the matter, Ezra 5:3-6.
However, his plan backfired and after King Darius looked into the matter, he forbade anyone from stopping the work of building the temple! Infact, he said that those who tried to do so, would be impaled, Ezra 6:11. Further he commanded those who opposed the work to make sure that they supplied money for the work, as well as, the animals that were needed for the daily sacrifices, vs 8-10. This being the case, the elders of the Jews continued building and prospering, while at the same time Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo continued prophesying and encouraging the builders, vs 14. Finally, they finished the temple on the third day of the month Adar, during the sixth year of King Darius' reign, vs 15. Subsequently, they went on to dedicate the temple, and observed the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread too, with joy, for the great work that had been accomplished by God's grace, vs 16-22!
What a beautiful picture these chapters present before us! To begin with, God's will is made known by his prophets, then those who read these prophecies take up the matter in prayer to God with a burdened heart, and then, God begins to stir people up to initiate His work and will to be done on earth as is His will in heaven. Further, he stirs people to provide for the same as well! Yes, hindrances do come, but when handled in humility, faith and boldness, they only prove to become 'blessings in disguise'! So, the question is not about God's ability to perform His will on earth as it is done in heaven, but rather the need for those who will take time out to find out his will and seek God in prayer to initiate the work and carry it out with determination and in humility, no matter what hurdles are encountered! And for those who think that God's will will be done automatically, we need to realise there are spirit beings in place, (because of the fall of man), who vehemently seek to hinder God's will from being done.
So it is left to us to battle in prayer just like Daniel did! May God enable us to be among those who set our face as flint, and are determined to take the Kingdom by force being assured that God is on our side and the victory is already ours in Christ Jesus!