The first section in 1st Chronicles will deal with many genealogies. How fascinating that we have such detail about people who lived so long ago. We often rush past such lists, but this time take time to cherish the information that has forever been recorded. How far back can you trace your own family?
As we get deeper into 1st Chronicles, we’ll begin to see a parallel history to what we see in other books of the bible (1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2nd Kings). Because the author of Chronicles did not write those other books, we can’t expect the two histories to be the same. Look instead for the meaning of each passage letting the Holy Spirit guide you.
Continue reading “1 Chronicles 1:1-54 – Don’t Get Stuck”
I appreciate when I can learn more about Jewish traditions and what the Law of Moses instructed the Jewish people to do. After all, these are the traditions that Jesus would have known and participated in. This feast or festival is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles and is still celebrated today for nine days sometime during the months of September or October. It is associated with the gratitude for the bounty and provisions of God.
Because the returnees were trying to do things “by the book,” literally, reviving this festival was one of those activities being renewed. Rather than “guess” at what God wanted, the leaders met to learn more by reading the law together. When we want to know how to act in a certain situation, our “go-to” should always be, “what does the Bible say,” or “what would Jesus do?”
Continue reading “Nehemiah 8:13-18 – Festival of Shelters”
Don’t be distracted, the next three chapters will seem a bit out of place. Whatever the context, meaning, or intention, they do stand out. In this passage, we see Ezra gathering the people to continue his mission of making sure they were grounded by following God and abiding by the laws of Moses. I liked how the people even “asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey.” What did the people do when they saw Ezra open the book? They stood to their feet in a grand display of reverence!
The people living in Jerusalem had been given a “do-over.” Ezra’s mission was to make sure they didn’t fall away from God’s teachings like their ancestors taken into exile had done. The Levites read from the law and offered clear explanation so the people would understand.
Continue reading “Nehemiah 7:73-8:12 – Hearing God’s Word”
Welcome to the book of Nehemiah! In this book we meet another player in God’s rebuilding and restoration plan. Timelines and everything can get confusing, but the 20th year of King Artaxerxes’ reign is mentioned. That would historically place Nehemiah after Ezra.
God’ restoration plan will now focus on the enclosure to the great city of Jerusalem. Rebuilding the wall is the vision God will place on Nehemiah’s heart. Nehemiah is already overcome with emotion thinking that the home of his ancestors lies in ruin, the walls crumbled and unsuitable for protection.
Continue reading “Nehemiah 1:1-11 – Nehemiah’s Prayer”
The book of Ezra closes with a plan of cleansing agreed to by the people. Our last reading identified the problem, and we saw Ezra’s response was to earnestly pray. Today’s reading picks up right there with many other people joining Ezra in his lament.
Were you surprised at how easily the people agreed with Ezra? The plan was put in place to remove the pagan spouses from the land to cleanse the land of foreigners who would not share in the devotion to the LORD, respecting his laws and decrees. The purpose of this cleansing was to remove the “poison” of unbelief from spreading.
Continue reading “Ezra 10 – A Fresh Start”