Ezra 4:12 Just That Bad

Bad is nondescript.

It is a negative without any definitive reason. It’s a word that is used when we can’t think of anything more specific to say.

 

To my listeners
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
For more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.
If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.
For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.
My books are available at:
My author spotlight at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie
My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Ezra 10:44 A Problem With No Resolution

Ezra 10:44 (KJV)
All these had taken strange wives: and some of them had wives by whom they had children.

The book of Ezra ends in a startling way because it seems to me that it does not end.

There is a problem presented but there is no resolution reported.

Fact is, I don’t think this problem ever got resolved. Over the years the children of Israel, even those called of God to be priests, had ignored the Word of God and disobeyed it’s precepts. Here we find them, at least we find Ezra, wanting to make things right with God. Trouble was, their former disobediences had born out consequences that could not be changed.

  • They had married strange wives
  • They had, at least some of them, had children

True enough these priestly peoples could repent and turn to God. But they could not ignore their wives and, even more, their children. Their wives, their children and their children’s children would carry the consequences of these men’s indiscretions. Israel never became the powerful nation they once were ever again. There has been infighting and trouble in Israel that resulted in:

  • their conquest by Rome
  • their crucifying of their own Messiah and
  • their spiritual hardness to this day

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How we need to:

  • look ahead at the consequences of sin
  • look into the word at the path God has laid out for us and
  • look well at our Lord so that we choose God before we choose sin

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
My author spotlight at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie

My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Ezra 10:44 A Problem With No Resolution

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Ezra 9:8-9 A Little Reviving

Ezra 9:8-9 (KJV)
And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

Ezra was well aware of the actual condition of the people of Israel. They had gone into bondage but, though the decree to return had been given, only a remnant wanted liberty from that bondage. The people of our world are slaves to trespasses and sins and, because of it, are living lives of condemnation. The thing is only a handful of them want out. As merciful as God is, the majority is more comfortable in bondage than in Liberty.

Ezra was thankful even for a little reviving. He said that the mercy of God that granted them reviving also gave them:

A house of God
If revival is liberty from bondage, the first step of living in liberty is union in a house of God. There is no true worship with God outside of that local house of God, a church.

A repair of desolations
The life of bondage is destructive. Once we are free in Christ we are to set about to repair in our lives what sin had ruined.

A wall in Judah and Jerusalem
A wall gives security. God gives growing believers security of salvation the moment of salvation and a growing assurance of that security as we come into God’s house and as we make those repairs.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
My author spotlight at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie

My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Ezra 9:8-9 A Little Reviving

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Ezra 8:16 We Want To Be Right

Ezra 8:16 (KJV)
Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.

I was struck by, and had to read several times to be sure I had it correct, that there are three men with the same name in this list.

Nothing of any distinction between them is given and the only thing I could find in my commentaries is a remark that the list contains three men of the same name. There is no comment that really can be made. We know nothing about any of them.

And yet they are recorded in the eternal and perfect Word of God. Nothing is by accident in the Bible and every word has purpose. Two things that come to my mind are these:

Though they are unknown to us they are well known to God
That there are three men with the same name should not be that surprising. A Google search reveals a number of Marvin McKenzies. At least one of them lives where I grew up and another one is a pastor, as I am.

I am reminded that the Bible must be rightly divided
We have this startling passage where three men with the same name cannot be the same man. It demonstrates that we must not assume that other men, with the same name, are the same man, even if they are not recorded in the same passage. What other errors of assumption happen because of

  • A quick read,
  • Little study and, perhaps,
  • A strong desire to want our understanding to be the correct one?

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
My author spotlight at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie

My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Ezra 8:16 We Want To Be Right

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Ezra 5:17 See All Sides

Ezra 5:17 (KJV)
Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

The accusation had been made that Jerusalem was a rebellious and bad city. A search had been made and it was discovered that Jerusalem had indeed been a strong one city holding others in tribute and resisting domination by others. Work in Jerusalem was halted until another king was established and another request came to the throne. Search and see, had Cyrus indeed decreed that the temple should be built? Yes, the decree was real and the work was continued.

A lot of trouble could be avoided if all sides of an issue were considered at once. It is manipulative and dishonest to purposely skew the perspective of an issue by pointing out one piece of truth while obscuring another.

In counseling others one of the main problems is finding out all perspectives and helping every person concerned to see the issue as it truly is, a combination of all those views.

Good wisdom says that we not make any judgment before we have learned all sides. And sometimes that means we can’t make a judgment at all.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
My author spotlight at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie

My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Ezra 5:17 See All Sides

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Ezra 4:12 The Bad City

Ezra 4:12 (KJV)
Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

My attention was drawn to the word bad in this text. I means wicked. Those who were opposed to the rebuilding of the city accused it of being rebellious and bad.

Rebellious is a definite act. A search was made and it could be proven that those of Jerusalem tended historically to resist authorities other than their own.

Bad is nondescript.

It is a negative without any definitive reason. It’s a word that is used when we can’t think of anything more specific to say. It is a word that evokes suspicion on my part. If something is said to be bad with no definite bad act to back up the accusation I tend to expect that the accusation is unfounded and prejudiced.

These enemies were able, for a time, to stop what God had begun through Cyrus. That there are enemies and that they may sometimes be successful in no way changes whether God is at work or not. He allows trials to test and strengthen us.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
My author spotlight at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie

My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Ezra 4:12 The Bad City

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

Ezra 7:15-18 (KJV)
And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

The king’s offerings were to be used:

To speedily buy
The purpose was so there would be no hindrance in buying and doing what ought to be done in the house of the Lord. They had already waited. This offering was meant that no delays should continue.

To provide offerings of all sorts in God’s house
The work of God has many facets. We:

  • Preach
  • Sing
  • Worship
  • Evangelize
  • Welcome
  • Encourage
  • Assist

All of these in alignment with our commission. All of them require financial resources. All of them are to be supported by the freewill offerings of God’s people.

To do what seemed good
The king’s offering was generous and would certainly cover the necessary things. It was anticipated that it was also generous enough that there would be money enough for things that were unanticipated. In that case it had been released to be used at the discretion of Ezra.

See here lessons in our own offerings to God. We have been made not only priests, but kings. We give not of necessity but freely. When we give generously as we ought, our offerings are meant to meet the needs of the house of God and the rest to be used at the discretion of our preacher for the good of the ministry.

(More applications are found throughout the rest of the chapter)

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

Ezra 5:2 The Preacher’s Best Function

Ezra 5:2 (KJV)
Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

I have long contended that the prophets of the Old Testament had ministries comparable to that of the New Testament preacher.

  • They were not priests (though they could be from priestly families)
  • They were not regulated
  • They were not employees but Servants of God
  • They were often contemporaries and worked side by side
  • They sometimes were contemporaries but had little to no relationship with one another

Here we find two prophets who were contemporaries, knew each other and worked together for a common purpose. Could this be viewed as a rudimentary fellowship?

The Bible says these prophets instructed the people to begin work on the Temple again and that they helped them build. I have my suspicions that they picked up tools from time to time. I doubt that they were afraid to get dirty. But the most valuable help they could give, and that help that all of the commentaries point to, is help to:

  • Inspire
  • Motivate
  • Guide and
  • Maintain focus on the work

No preacher should mind picking up a hammer and saw. But the preacher’s best function (and probably most challenging) is in keeping others at the work.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Ezra 5:2 The Preacher’s Best Function

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.