January 24, Ezra 9:6-15 Ezra prays with a broken heart
I can almost hear and feel the deep sorrow in this prayer. If God gave His people what they deserve then this world would be empty. The laws of God are plain, they're summed up in the first two, love God and love people, but we don't. We love ou... Read more
January 23, Ezra 9:1-5 Like a dog going back to it's vomit
That's pretty gross right? But I think it's an accurate example of what's happening. Israel's history is pretty clear, through the books of Judges and Kings we see a cycle where they would follow God and prosper then rebel and suffer. Under kin... Read more
January 22, Ezra 8, Getting started in the right way.
I think this chapter is a bit out of sequence, Ezra remembers what happened when they first journeyed to Jerusalem. Two or three items, depending on how you look at them. Ezra realizes soon after they get started that there are no levites wit... Read more
January 21, Ezra 7 God moves the hearts of kings
Much of the Old Testament is historical writings and these books of Ezra and Nehemiah allow a parallel record in the scripture and secular histories. Looking at this chapter in a primarily historical aspect there are some things to note. First i... Read more
January 20, Ezra 6:19-22 Perfect timing for a new begining.
Most gentiles won't get the subtleties of the timing here. It says in verse 15 that the work was completed in the month of Adar. That's the last month on the Jewish calendar. Now in the first month, the month of Nissan they want to renew the fes... Read more
January 19, Ezra 6:13-18 Working with a purpose
So I really like the humor and turn of events here. The people that were so opposed to Jerusalem being rebuilt are now being forced to pay for it.
But what I really look at here is the attitude of the builders. What seems to be the motivetio... Read more
January 18, Ezra 6:1-12 God gets the last laugh
Tattenai was so sure of himself that his accusations would halt the rebuilding of Jerusalem. But in fact king Darius finds just the document that was mentioned, how Cyrus ordered the temple rebuilt. I really like the humor in this as Dari... Read more
January 17, Ezra 5:1-5 Do what God says.
After the death of Artaxerxes (pronounce; are tax zerk sees), the people resumed the work. What I specifically note is that two prophets told them to disobey the king's proclamation and go back to rebuilding. One of the few places in scripture... Read more
January 16, Ezra 4:7-24 Evil forces may seem to delay God's plan but will not stop it.
So these Samaritans send the letter and in fact history shows that the people of Judah and Jerusalem were in fact rebellious. he letter is also laces with lies, that too is a tactic of evil, even today so many laws are passed because of lies tol... Read more
January 15, Ezra 4:1-6 The most dangerous enemy is the one who says he is your friend
This tactic used by the adversaries of Judah is very common, if I flatter someone or convince them that we work towards the same goal I can disarm them. It's practiced widely today by governments and by Satan. The movements across the globe tha... Read more
January 14, Ezra 3:8-13 A groundbreaking celebration
After two years they are finally able to start rebuilding the temple. For most of us the temple simply represents a religious building but for Israel it represented God with them, it was central to their culture. I've been to groundbreakings wh... Read more
January 13, Ezra 3:1-7 Returning to worship
The people of Israel have been back in the land for seven months and some may wonder that they didn't rebuild the altar first. But we don't know the extent of the destruction in the city, was it safe to go to where the altar was? Maybe it took s... Read more
January 12, Ezra 2, Lots of names, what does it all mean?
For most people the family genealogy isn't very important except for some personal curiosity. I note that today there is more interest than there has been for quite some time. But to the Jew the family line was very important. The land and dutie... Read more
January 11, Ezra 1, God moves a pagan king for His purpose
The beginning of this chapter makes a reference to a prophecy by Jeremiah and we need to take a quick look there. Jeremiah prophesied that Israel would be captive for 70 years and that time has now come, but of even more significance is that Isa... Read more
January 10, Luke 24:13-53 Just talk with your friends about Jesus
We'll finish up the gospel according to Luke today with some thoughts on the road to Emmaus. Have you ever considered why this is included, what the significance is? Two of Jesus' disciples are walking and they're talking about Him. Then suddenl... Read more