- Grace and justice can pull us in opposite directions. Should I wallow in guilt or feel free to travel sinful impulses? Neither! There is grace! Praise God! Yet, this does not mean that I should consider sin lightly. In vs. 33 Moses says, “…be sure your sin will find you out.” This is in the context of making a commitment. Not just a promise between 2 people, but a promise between 2 communities, a promise that lingers into following generations.
- LORD, let us celebrate Your mercy, but let us not make a mockery of it. For the sake of our children, let us not conduct ourselves in ways where “[our] sin [finds us] out.”
- What an amazing chapter; too deep to fully respond. God declares His unique role as the only true God. This is the specific name of God, the LORD (Yahweh). No other God can bring salvation and security and blessing (vs. 11) The greatest comfort to me is that in the midst of the trials of this life, God promises His compassionate presence (vs. 2 & 5). It’s heartbreaking to see how the LORD’s chosen and blessed people turn on him (vs. 22-28). Yet, the LORD’s heartfelt posture toward those who are called His own is “precious,” “honored,” and “loved.” (vs. 4)
- LORD, I am humbled by Your love for me. Help me not forget. Especially as I pass through difficult times, I commit to remember that You are with me, I am loved. Thank you!
Ezra 3 & 4:
- God’s people are unified by this mission to rebuild the temple. Repeatedly, their zeal to honor the LORD is indicated by their persistence in following the Law (vs. 3:2, 4, 5, 10). Notice the use of “according to…” and “appointed.” They were checking the Scriptures every step of the way.
- Do we do this? Or do we arrogantly assume that we understand? Do we lean on preferences and ideologies rather than on what is written?
- One other observation is the diverse emotion of the people upon the completion of the foundation of the temple (vs. 3:11-13). While most praised, many of the older men wept. Were they sad to see the project underway? No. They remembered the former temple and the horrific and violent destruction brought by Nebuchadnezzar. One of the significant observations a professor showed me, according to Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 10 & 11 is the departing Spirit of God from the temple and Jerusalem. This temple allowed the people to obey, but the Spirit of the LORD was not there, not like He once was. And they wept!
- LORD, I want to love and seek Your word, that I may be shaped by it and stay in line with it. Even more, I want to be deeply sensitive to Your presence with me. IN me, because of Jesus, who makes our bodies Your temple.
1 Timothy 5:
- This was part of my reading today. But the content is too difficult and personal for me to comment on. Maybe someday later. Still, worth a read if any of you are following these passages with me.
Categories: Words of Life