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Archive for March, 2010

(Ezra 1:1) In order that word of the LORD by mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD STIRRED up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia.

(Ezra 1:4-6) Then rose up the survivors, everyone whose spirit God had STIRRED to go up & rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.

(Ezra 1:7) Cyrus the king brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon.

(Ezra 2:1-63) A list of those returning from exile – each to his home town that had not been seen for 70 years, some had never been there.

(Ezra 2:64) Returnees include 42360 people + 7337 servants + 200 singers + 6720 donkeys + 1416 horses, mules, camels.

(Ezra 3:2) Zerubbabel & Jeshua rebuild the altar on the temple site and Israel celebrates Feast of Tabernacles.

(Ezra 3:7) Returnees trade food, drink and oil for word from Lebanon just as Solomon had done.

(Ezra 3:10-11) Music ministry re-established according to David’s directions. "They sang responsively, praising & giving thanks to LORD".

(Ezra 3:12-13) While most shout with joy as second temple’s foundations are laid, old men who has seen the first temple weep.

(Ezra 4:1-4) Samaritans ask to help build the temple but their request is denied and so they work to discourage and frustrate.

(Ezra 5:1-2) Zerubbabel and Jeshua begin to rebuild the temple with the support of the prophesying of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah.

(Ezra 6:14) Temple completed by decree of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes kings of Persia-Babylon-Assyria.

(Ezra 6:19-22) The returnees celebrate the first Passover back in the land after 70 years of exile. A theme in Ezra: great joy in worship.

(Ezra 6:21) People made up of returnees & Jews who had remained in land during exile & now joined with returnees, separating from Samaritans

(Ezra 7:6) Ezra was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the LORD the God of Israel had given. The hand of the LORD his God was on him.

(Ezra 7:10) Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

(Ezra 7:11-28) Ezra leads a second group of exiles back to the land. Persian king gives gold, animals for sacrifices etc.

(Ezra 8:1-20) A list of the heads of fathers’ houses who return with Ezra from exile in Bablon (457 B.C. First return was 539 B.C.)

(Ezra 8:21-23,31) Ezra’s company are delivered on journey because humbled and prayed and God’s hand upon them.

(Ezra 8:28) Ezra notes a connection between temple vessels and the people – they are both holy to God, belong in Jerusalem.

(Ezra 9:1-2) So much good in this book but ends sad with faithless intermarriage with the surroundings people.

(Ezra 9:3-4) Ezra’s grief – tore clothes, pulled hair from head, sat appalled. Others who trembled at God’s words gather to him.

(Ezra 9:5-15) Ezra’s prayer of confession and repentance on behalf of the remnant in their slavery & shame. They can hardly lift their heads

(Ezra 10:1-15) Covenant made to send away foreign wives and children, a drastic action.

(Ezra 10:16-44) Ezra began with good lists of returnees (evidence of God’s faithfulness). Ends with list of people who had been unfaithful.

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Sweetly Paint the Blessing of Christ as All

You ministers of Christ, behold your theme. So dreadfully denounce the curse, that you and yours may flee it. So sweetly paint the blessing, that you and yours may grasp it. So fully preach the Savior, that you and yours may be forever saved. Blessed are they, who, living, preaching, dying, make Christ their All.

Henry Law, The Gospel in Leviticus

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A Prayer

For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

(Psalms 38:4 and 3:3)

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The Word is not only a guide to knowledge, but a guide to obedience. A holy reading of God’s Word, results in our fleeing from sins, and practicing the duties commanded. “Give me understanding, and I will keep Your law and obey it with all my heart.”

Source: Thomas Watson Psalm 119:34

“The Spirit of God must come, and make the letter alive to you, transfer it to your heart, set it on fire and make it burn within you, or else its divine force and majesty will be hid from your eyes.”

Source: C.H. Spurgeon

“Every event is the product of God’s providence; not a sparrow, much less a saint, falls to the ground by poverty, sickness, persecution, but the hand of God is in it.”

Source: William Gurnall (1617-1679) The Christian In Complete Armour

“…if ever the Spirit of God hath begun a sanctifying or comforting work, causing thee to hope in his mercy, he never is, will, or can be the messenger to bring contrary news to thy soul; his language is not yea and nay, but yea and amen for ever.”

Source: William Gurnall (1617-1679) The Christian In Complete Armour

“The Lord discovers a sight of men’s sin and misery to them, to chase them out of themselves, and to put them out of conceit of their own righteousness … therefore discovers to them so much of their sin and corruption … that they are made to … despair of relief in themselves; and …so … prize Christ highly, who alone can set the wretch at liberty.”

Source: William Guthrie (1620 – 1665) The Christian’s Great Interest

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Prayer

"Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,

Uttered or unexpressed –

The motion of a hidden fire,

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

The falling of a tear,

The upward glancing of an eye,

When none but God is near"

Source: James Montgomery

 

"Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view."

Source: Ralph Waldo Emerson

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My summary of 1 and 2 Chronicles click here.

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The lamb must have fallen over the edge, Caleb decided … It was impossible to know just what had happened but one thing was sure. The thorns that had imprisoned the lamb had also saved his life [protecting him from predators]. …

"Stop struggling," Caleb cried, as the lamb’s own efforts got him more and more entangled and hurt. "Can’t you see I’m trying to help you? You’ll die if you stay here."

The lamb did stop struggling after a while, not because he was no longer frightened but because he was too exhausted. Long before Caleb was able to reach and free him – gasping with pain as his own hands were torn by the thorns that held the lamb prisoner – he had shut his eyes and given up the fight.

Source: Helen Santo, Caleb’s Lamb, Chapter 2

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