At last, the temple was completed. The people had successfully fulfilled God’s vision and command with the help of three Persian kings. What an amazing feat!
Can you imagine the emotions that were flowing amongst the Israelite people? I imagine a sense of relief mingled with exhaustion and anticipation for all the ministry that would take place. The people had finally rebuilt the place where God could reside among them. Over these years, the people had stayed focused on their mission and not let the distractions get them off course.
Continue reading “Ezra 6:13-18 – The Dedication”
Can our enemies also worship our God? That’s a good question. Maybe we should explore what makes someone our enemy? For me, it would be anyone who doesn’t believe as I do who is trying to harm me or distract me from my mission. With that understanding, I don’t think my enemies would be Christians who love Jesus.
The enemies discussed in our reading were giving good “lip service” to those working on the temple. Their attempts to trick the workers in believing they could also be worshiping the LORD failed. The help they offered as a lure was also rejected.
Continue reading “Ezra 4:1-5 – Stay on Track”
How ironic that Nahum’s final oracle would begin with advice on how to prepare for the onslaught. It’s like warning the enemy because what’s coming is just that horrible. I think of the countless flyers the United States dumped from the air over Japan before sending the deadly bombs that ended World War II.
Do you think Nahum intended to give them another chance to redeem themselves? He was certainly making a personal effort to protect them, even though there was no chance for survival. Nahum must have had some difficulty in proclaiming such a message. Bricks would not save them!
Continue reading “Nahum 3:14-19 – Getting Personal”
Jesus has died. His body has been carefully laid in Joseph’s new tomb. The women know where that is, and they hurry now to prepare the burial spices. But it’s too late now since the Sabbath is about to begin. They are going to have to wait. I can just imagine how hard it was for them to wait. Even a few hours would make a big difference in the decay of a corpse. Still, their tradition would have them wait.
They didn’t know to be waiting for the resurrection. We have that knowledge, and yet we are still in a waiting pattern, aren’t we? Our wait to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter morning is only a short wait. But the wait we have for Jesus’ promised return is much longer. How long, we have no idea. We just need to patiently wait with faithful expectation.
Continue reading “Luke 23:56 – While We Wait”