Nov 21, 2022
Yesterday we heard how the returned exiles responded to Ezra’s shock and demonstration of his sorrow, and his prayer of repentance. The book ended with the names of those who were found guilty of forbidden marriages. Note that these are not just names of the guilty, but names of those who repented and sacrificed to God. They are the names of the forgiven. In some ways— and not all, this shows the kind of seriousness with which church discipline spoken of in the New Testament should be conducted. (Matthew 18, 1 & 2 Corinthians)
As I said just a few days ago, the book of Nehemiah was— according to Jewish tradition, written by Ezra, and this book was at some early time bundled with the book of Ezra. Nehemiah and Ezra had to have been close friends. If Ezra wrote the book of Nehemiah, he did so as one writing Nehemiah’s testimony, since Nehemiah speaks in the first person throughout the book. Nehemiah is a wonderful example of a man living in prayerful trust of the Lord, and a man willing to take on huge tasks because of his full belief in God. He is a wonderful example of a leader who does not take advantage of his position to enrich himself, but works for the good of all the people.
Yesterday, amid the statements of judgment for Assyria in chapter 33, we still heard amazing prophecies in Isaiah. Here are two of them:
Is. 33:17 NLT Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor, and you will see a land that stretches into the distance.
24 The people of Israel will no
“We are sick and helpless,”
for the Lord will forgive their sins.
Here is a promise to claim from the first chapter of Philippians:
Php. 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
NLT Translation note:
Php. 2:9 Therefore, God elevated [has] him to the place of highest honor
and [has given//gave] him the name above all other names,
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.