Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 101 Saturday

Ezra chapter 8

Artaxerxes had said that Ezra should take the priests, Levites, singers, porters, and Nethinims to minister at Jerusalem. The names of the chief men and the number of those who went are given in verses 1 through 14 of this chapter. After Ezra examined those in that number he sent for others to join them. To that list were added the names found in verses 17 through 20.

Ezra instituted a fast before proceeding on the journey. This was a plea to God for safe passage to Jerusalem because Ezra felt it would be a bad testimony to ask the king for soldiers to accompany them. Their journey was particularly perilous given the amount of wealth that they carried with them as stated in verses 25-27.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Once the people were safely in Jerusalem they offered sacrifices as required in the law.

Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak, but God kept them safe on their journey from those who would rob them along the way. God answered their prayer and Ezra praised Him for doing so.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • "The hand of our God" in verse 31 is Jesus, the same Person who was Captain of the Host during the Exodus.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • It is a perilous journey with those who would attack the pilgrims along the way but God's people always make it safely Home because He protects them. No matter how bad the travel is, the child of God always arrives safely! (Nothing can separate us from the love of God.)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 101 Friday

Ezra chapter 7

The first few verses of this chapter give Ezra's genealogy back to the high priest, Aaron. He was a priest himself but he was also a scribe. One of the things that Ezra recorded was the law of the LORD. Another was the decree of the king to allow all the people of Israel who desired to return to their homeland to do so.

The king did not send them back empty-handed either. He sent gold and silver to be used to purchase animals and supplies for sacrifices and offerings also.

Ezra praised God for working in the heart of the king!

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not give any new commands but as scribe Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD and to record the commands that God gave Moses for Israel to observe.
  • King Artaxerxes wanted all of God's commands as given to Moses concerning sacrifices and offerings to be followed exactly so he gave instructions for his treasurers to supply Ezra with anything he needed.

Does God make any promises?

  • God did not speak.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Artaxerxes called himself "king of kings" but Jesus is truly the King of kings.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The king opened his treasuries and made all of his riches available for those who would worship the LORD. One day all the treasuries of Heaven will be open to us and the riches of our King will be at our disposal. We will worship our God forever.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 101 Thursday

Horne, Charles, and Julius Bewer.
The Bible and Its Story: Poetry–Prophets, Psalms to Isaiah. Vol. 6.
New York, NY: Francis R. Niglutsch, 1909. Print. (Public Domain)
Courtesy of Faithlife Logos Bible Software.
Esther 9:1-10:3

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak.

Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak.

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Mordecai is a type of Christ: the formerly humble, unknown Jewish man who increased (and in the case of Jesus, will continue to increase) until all of his enemies are under his feet. He was second in command; he sought the wealth of his people, he accepted the multitude of his brethren, and spoke peace to all his seed. In other words there was salvation, peace, and abundant life offered to those under his rule.
  • The 10 sons of Haman were slain. Jesus told many of his detractors that they were of their father the devil and would perish eternally.
  • Mordecai set aside the 14th and 15th days of the month Adar as the feast of Purim. Jesus participated in the celebration of Purim also. (John chapter 5. There are many websites that discuss this "possibility.")

Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • One of the weapons used by the Jews for their defense was the sword. Revelation states that a two-edged sword will be used at the final battle between Jesus' army and those who seek to destroy them.
  • The people rejoiced when their enemies are destroyed and their mourning was turned to joy. The people of God will one day rejoice when all of their enemies, led by their father the devil, will be destroyed. All mourning will be turned to joy when God shall wipe all tears from our eyes.

TAKE TIME: June 29-July 4, 2015 Assignment

Introduction:  This week we will conclude our reading of Ezra and will read Malachi in its entirety. I have been asked why I choose to read Malachi prior to reading Nehemiah, which we will begin next week. The answer is simple. I believe that Malachi was the contemporary of Nehemiah, and Ezra, Esther, Zechariah, and Haggai but that at least part of his subject matter, the corrupt priesthood, was what Ezra was dealing with at the end of his book. It just helps me read with understanding when the topic remains cohesive as well as chronological.

  • Monday - Ezra chapter 9
  • Tuesday - Ezra chapter 10
  • Wednesday - Malachi chapter 1
  • Thursday - Malachi chapter 2
  • Friday - Malachi chapter 3
  • Saturday - Malachi chapter 4
Memory Verse

 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.   Malachi 3:1

Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God for being the One who loves you!
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action
There are often revival fires that crop up in certain places - like in Jerusalem during the time of Ezra and Malachi - and for that we are glad! (Pray for more of them!) But sometimes participants who work for the sake of being part of a movement are not true believers. Such was the case in the days of Ezra and Malachi when the LORD'S chosen servants, the priests, went through the motions of establishing proper worship in Jerusalem but ignored God's commands themselves. This week make it a priority to pray for pastors around the world. Some of them are true shepherds but some of them are nothing more than hirelings that spoil the flock. 1, Ask God to spare His people from such charlatans. 2. Ask God to help you know a true shepherd from a false one and then attend where a true shepherd pastors. 3. Then ask God to convict the hearts of those false shepherds so that they will repent and be the true shepherds according to the calling they claim to be following.