God Is On Our Side

Providential Protection

Book of Esther Chapters 8-9

We as Christians know that God is involved in our world.

God is not a “watchmaker” (Creator) who just wound this world up as a watch and just allowing it to run down.

God is involved in our world daily.

God is looking after His people daily, the Jews and the Church.

God will keep His plan moving along just as He has since His first written words in the Book of the beginnings, the Book of Genesis.

No one can change the Word of to their benefit nor can the plan of God be changed or altered in any way.

God will keep every promise He has made to the Jews.

God will keep every promise He has made to the Church.

God will keep His covenant of “wrath” with every non-believer, these are facts in the Word of God which does not change!

God would never allow the Jews, the Hebrew people, to be wiped out of this world!

*****Est 8:3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.

As we have seen in this passage, this King of Persia was weak in his ruling ability and evil Haman had put things in place that this king did not know how to stop.

A written law of Persia that was stamped by the king could not be changed.

Est 7:4 For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage.

This king gave his power to rule for the moment over to Queen Esther.

*****Est 8:4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
Est 8:5 And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king’s provinces:

If we do not know by now, we live in a cruel world!

In many cases it is because politics have entered into people’s lives and politicians never have the right answers for the good of all people, as we see daily here in America, and I am not talking about our President.

Haman may have vanished off the scene, but some of his evil was still in force.

Haman was an Agagite a descendant of the Amelikite who were the people that King Saul was to eliminate because they were so evil, but he did not because of covetousness.

The Amelikite hated the nation of Israel, and right now the law was on their side to destroy all the Jews in Persia and it would not have stopped there.

Things such as this seem to make their way into other nations, who think they are doing some kind of good.

Queen Esther was given the estate of Haman who we have already seen was very, very rich.

Queen Esther made Mordecai the overseer of this estate.

We should always remember those who have helped us through the years.

Queen Esther would have been a child of the state had not Mordecai took her in as his own child.

This king loved Queen Esther with all his heart and already said he would give her half his kingdom if she asked.

This precious child of God loved her people much more than she loved riches.

*****Est 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
Est 8:7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
Est 8:8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.

Again we see that this king did not know what to do, but Mordecai knew exactly what to do without, breaking any Persian law.

This is what patriotism is all about. Citizens of a nation protecting citizens of that nation!

All citizens should want freedom.
All citizens should want the freedom to worship Jehovah God without reprisal.
All citizens should want their people to work toward these goals.

God tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, because most of our world still wants to destroy them, as did Haman.

This king gave Esther and Mordecai the ability to write whatever law would protect the Jews.

Queen Esther made intercession for her people.

You see this is what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us, He made intercession for all, “whosoever” would believe that He did.

The Lord saved us from eternal death! Separation from our God forever.

This body may pass away one day, but we will never see that death, because we will step into the throne room of God before that body of flesh takes its last breath.

2Co_5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

These Jews would not see death, and many of them would return to the Holy Land with Ezra!

*****Est 8:7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
Est 8:8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.

Not many kings, not many leaders, and not many politicians, will ever admit their error, they will commit the repair of the error to someone else.

The house of Haman, did not costs the king anything at all.

He does never plead for forgiveness for this mess he had allowed to take place.

He does allow Queen Esther and Mordecai to do what they could, to stop the massacre before it took place without breaking the law of Haman.

The king did not ever take responsibility for this mess he had allowed to happen.

Mordecai knew exactly what to do!

We must understand as Christians, that words once spoken cannot be recalled! A deed once done cannot be undone!

That one with a hasty temper, who drove a spike into the heart of a friend cannot undo what he has done.

This why forgiveness is so important in the family of God.

We cannot erase the things we do contrary to the Word of God, but we can certainly forgive others like the Lord has forgiven us all our sin.

Again Mordecai knew exactly what to do!

*****Est 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
Est 8:16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

What is the proper use of power? Power must be used for the betterment of people, especially between God’s people!

Mordecai went out dressed as the Prime Minister of Persia, with crown to prove it, and all people were aware that Haman was gone, and Mordecai was in charge now.

Not just the Jews but the entire city was glad that Haman was just a bad memory of the past, and should be forgotten!

Haman had made many enemies!

I say all people but the Amalekite, who history says were the only people who rose up to kill all the Jews.

We should understand every Word of God is important for our survival!

Deu 25:18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
Deu 25:19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.

Because this did not take place as commanded by the Lord, these people would haunt Israel all their days.

God knows what He is doing, and He has used Israel to do these things, and He will continue to use Israel to do many things, until the peace that will come when the Lord returns, of course after the Lord straightens out some things, again according to the Word of God.

Even the Babylonians called the Amalekite “Khabbati” which means “plunderers” and recorded the things they had done

So what Iran says, and the enemies of Israel say, they know all these things. The Persians and they Babylonians were some of the best record keepers in history, yet the deny that Israel is a legitimate nation.

We should be able to see that Satan still has his hands in these enemies!

What was Mordecai’s plan?

*****Est 9:2 The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.
Est 9:3 And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.

We should understand that the best way to survive this world is to be prepared for an attack, because an attack is coming from somewhere at some time! Persecution will not cease until the Church is in Heaven and the Lord returns to set up His 1000-year rule from Jerusalem.

Why? Because these people hate God and deny the Lord Jesus is our Savior. They had rather perish than give in to the truth, just like atheist!

The date of the attack had been written into law by Haman.

The government and the military would now help the Jews, because they were appointees just like Nehemiah, and they knew they would lose their positions if they went against the king. There is a little typology written here.

These Jews acted properly, and they acted in unison, because they took a stand for their lives.

What does God say?

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

They could do these things because God had a plan before Genesis 1:1, that Mordecai would be in this particular place at this particular time.

Jer 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

God does these things to every one of us. He places us in places to be available when danger seeks out God’s people.

This does not mean God will stop persecution, because only death can take away the persecutors, and God will give them every chance to repent but we must remember these words.

Rev 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Why would God wait at all? Why does God not bring vengeance when God’s people are murdered?

2Pe_3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

*****Est 9:4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
Est 9:5 Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.

Mordecai was not only Prime Minister, but he had great favor with the King, and it became known that he was also uncle to the Queen.

Mordecai was well received of all the people, maybe because they could see that a captive could go far in the government of Persia and he may better understand their needs.

Est 10:3 For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.

This is why it would always be better if we voted only for Christians to be in our government!!!

*****Est 9:26 Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
Est 9:27 The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
Est 9:28 And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.

Why was the government of Persia so bad at this time?

There were over 500 of Haman’s kindred involved in the work in the Palace and not as slaves.

Est 9:6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.

It is from these things that actually happened, that the Jews set up a new feast and festival called the days of Purim, which is still celebrated today!

The word Purim comes a Persian word “lots”,because Haman had cast lots to find a day, he would see all the Jews in Persia destroyed.

On the first day of the new celebration the name of Haman and his 10 sons are read out because they were all hanged at once.

These Jews read the entire Book of Esther, and at the end they cry our “cursed be Haman”, blessed be Mordecai, “cursed be Zeresh (Haman’s wife) and blessed be Esther.

You see, the Jews do not ever forget these things and these things have to eat at the leaders of Iran who are the leftovers of Persia.

Just another reason that Iran hates Israel.

*****Est 9:29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.

We also see what happens when you try to abuse God’s people, when they are trying their best to be obedient to Him.

The King of Persia even allowed Queen Esther to write these things into the law of Persia.

Queen Esther became one of the greatest heroes in the History of the Jews, and we already know the rest of the story, as we have seen Ezra return to begin again the worship in the second Temple and Nehemiah allowed to go back and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Neh_2:6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

The next King of Persia was the son of Esther. God does work in mysterious ways!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Power of Evil Men

The Power of an Evil Man

Book of Esther 3 -4

A man once wrote: Power. It’s what everybody wants, right? That’s the story at least. Money, political influence, weapons, power to intimidate, power to make people do things, power to build things, power to get things done.

On a theological level, God is the most powerful “entity” in all the universe. In addition to His omnipotence, God is also purely good.

Therefore power, at its core, is not evil!

So, power is not evil. It just needs to be used rightly, which means shared, cooperatively and creatively, for the sake of the common good.

We should not fear power; we should only fear its misdirection!

Today we see a man named Haman who attempted to use power in an evil way.

We can be sure Satan was behind this thing because he could stop the first coming of the Messiah if the Jews were wiped out.

These Jewish people in Persia were the greater part of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin.

*****Est 3:1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

We might first say after what things. After Esther had become Queen of Persia and after Mordecai had overheard, a plot to overthrow the King and had warned him through Queen Esther.

It is after these things that the story of Haman begins.

If we look back to the time of Moses as he was leading the children of Israel, there was a man called Balaam who first mentions an Agag, King of Amalekites.

Num 24:7 He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.

The title Agag is used much like we use the title President.

It is these same Amalekites that God told King Saul to eliminate from this world.

That sounds harsh but God said they were so evil they would never come to any good. God Knows!!!!!!!

1Sa_15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
1Sa_15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
1Sa_15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1Sa_15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
1Sa_15:33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

Some of these people were allowed to escape each time Israel faced them.

The truth is we can be certain that Satan was behind these Amalekites in an attempt to destroy the nation of Israel before they could even become a legitimate nation!

Haman was the descendant of one of those who got away and no doubt he had retained that hatred for God’s people and Satan would use him to try to eliminate the tribe of Judah from which came our Savior.

By means we can be sure were not legal, Haman had advanced to be second in command of politics in the nation of Persia that included 127 provinces.

Haman was a very rich man and used his wealth to buy his way into most all things.

Haman craved recognition and as we will see had the traits of Lucifer who now is called Satan, the Devil.

*****Est 3:2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

We can believe that the Persian kings had allowed each nation that had been captured to worship in their own ways because it helped to keep the nation to be peaceful.

Every nation today should allow freedom to worship and punish those who persecute any religion.

The kings of Persia were like many rulers, that is, they felt they were on the level of gods.

There are even stories of Greeks who were put to death for not treating King Darius as a god.

These things still go on today by rulers of some nations.

Mordecai was an obedient Jew and he would not go against the Word of God!

Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

We must understand that we serve this same jealous God today!

Mordecai refused to bow to Haman, nor did he reverence him, and this did not mean Mordecai was some rebel, for we can see that he also had some ranking in the government of Persia.

Haman was just another rich man who demanded to be recognized for some imaginary gift, when he was just full of self-pride.

*****Est 3:3 Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?
Est 3:4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

It is easy to see that Haman had inherited his hatred for the Jews and he would do anything to rid the world of Jews. As we know there are many Hamans in the world today and even some miss Hamans who would do anything they could to rid the world of Jews and they are just seeking their own destruction as did Haman.

Because of this hatred, Haman came up with a scheme to legally kill all Jews in the Persian Empire.

Haman thought so highly of himself and so lowly of the king, that he thought he could pull one over on the king.

He did not yet realize that the queen was a Jew by birth.

No doubt this evil man demanded reverence for all those he looked down upon

All those others in the court of the king first cautioned Mordecai, then became just as evil as Haman when they took it upon their own to meddle in the affairs of Mordecai.

Mordecai just said that He was a Jew which meant there was already a law for the people to safely worship their own deities.

What was the law of God?

Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

No doubt Mordecai understood the Word of God and he was not about to let this evil man over rule the Word of God.

The day is coming in America and now is, that as Christians we must take a stand on the Word of God even if our own government demand we turn our backs on the Lord.

We will always have those that think they are do themselves a big favor, by running to tell the government what they see.

These are not whistle blowers, these are only fools looking to better themselves at the expense of the Christian.

Pro_16:19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

According to God’s plan, Mordecai had informed Esther of the plot to kill the king, but it was not well known especially to Haman.

The devils plan to eliminate the Jews could not overcome the plan of God!

When we look back in history, we will see many a man trying to give us an English translation, put in jail, or murdered, rather than bow down to the Church in Rome.

Haman was just an evil man wicked to the teeth!

What does God say?

Job_11:20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.

God says the wicked will only have short victories!

Job_20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

God also says He will destroy those who are wicked, with an everlasting death!

Psa_9:5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

Listen as Haman destroys himself.

*****Est 3:5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
Est 3:6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

It is obvious that Haman was not the only enemy of the Jews, but he did think he was ranked high enough to put a plan in place to destroy them.

It is obvious that pride is our enemy and God says, vengeance belongs to Him!

There have been many people that have tried to destroy the Jews, the Hebrew people, but God is not going to allow this to happen. Wake up world.

Israel and the Jews are still the apple of God’s eyes, and their hatred will only backfire on yourself!

Haman had magnified himself into some important man, when he was only some vain, egotistical man who would lose his own life in the end.

Egotism uses the sufferings of others to make a gain!

Egotism only promotes cruelty.

We see this in our own government today!

To an ego possessed individual, he or she is the center of the world and the world revolves around them.

I could mention some names, but you can fill in the blanks.

Psa 83:1 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
Psa 83:2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
Psa 83:3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
Psa 83:4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

What are the traits of Satan?

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

What is his end?

Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

As we see what is happening in our land, the abortions, the gays, the LGBT movement, and a corrupt government, we must guard ourselves against extreme prejudice and bitter hatred.

We must still remember it is still Jehovah God who sits on the throne of Heaven!

Haman plots.

*****Est 3:7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.
Est 3:8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.

Haman allowed a year for his plot to take place in order for the word of the king to travel to all locations and the Jews call that day Purim to celebrate their triumph over Haman and his household.

Haman allowed this year because the casting of lots was a religious thing from Haman’s own religion.

Today we must be careful not to listen to the Hamans of this world calling for the destruction of others for in fact it is a terrible sin.

Haman did not mention that these people were Jews only that it was a specific race of people.

As far as the king understood these people were like robbers and thieves moving around inside the 127 provinces of Persia.

What had God said?

Deu 4:27 And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.
Deu 4:28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

Haman also recognized that the laws given to the Jews were nothing like the laws of the Persians.

He would not have known these things if it had not been passed down through all his generations that the Jews were his enemies.

By scattering the Jews, God could begin to work with them individually or in small groups!

Eze 11:16 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
Eze 11:17 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.

Remember all the Jews even the ones who had stayed, were well aware that the Word of God had proven to be true and many of their Jewish brothers and sisters had returned to the Promised Land.

Haman told the king these people were no profit to his kingdom and needed to be eradicated like a bunch of mice.

Just like most all rich men, the key to this transaction would be money!

*****Est 3:9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.
Est 3:10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.

The rich and the super-rich have one bad problem, they can never have enough money!

If we look back in Jewish history 1000 talents were enough to buy off the Assyrian king for a while.

A piece of land the size of a city could be bought for 2 talents. So this was a great deal of money, especially for one individual to possess and obviously he had plenty more.

We must keep in mind that the Christian may be poor in this world but have great riches in Heaven!

2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

These riches sealed the deal for Haman, and he was given the ring of the king to show his authority to be able to rid Persia of the Jews.

But we know for sure God always has a better plan!

*****Est 4:1 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;
Est 4:2 And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.

We can be sure that Haman push the news of this new law as quick as he could especially to Mordecai.

It was like being on death row in a prison having the date set for execution.

Mordecai could only see one answer and that was to get the attention of Queen Esther, but Mordecai’s grief did not upset his judgment.

It came to Mordecai that God has placed Esther as Queen just for this occasion!

Mordecai had better sense than to storm into the king’s residence, so he put on sackcloth that got the attention of those going in and out and he knew the Queen get in touch with him because he had been as a father to her.

Sackcloth was made of black goat’s hair and was certainly noticeable especially on someone as Mordecai who took part in the government of Persia in some manner and dressed accordingly.

He was not alone:

*****Est 4:3 And in every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Not one Jew had peace with the threat of death hanging over them. They knew once a Persian king made a ruling it could not be changed.

We are sure Zerubbabel had already returned to Israel and Jerusalem to build the Temple, but it may not be quiet time for Ezra to return.

I believe besides letting Esther know it was time to save her people, it was also time to let these Jews know Persia would never be a safe place for them to live.

*****Est 4:4 So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

Queen Esther’s maidens and chamberlains may not have known the connection of Mordecai to her, but they knew Mordecai had a deep affection for her and her for him.

Queen Esther would make sure Mordecai was properly dressed which gave them time to swap messages.

Mordecai warned Queen Esther that this law to kill all Jews would include her no matter that she was Queen.

Let’s move ahead:

*****Est 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.
Est 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

If we look at what Mordecai was saying, Queen Esther needed to go to the King and put a stop to this thing.

It was well known that the king loved the queen very much even if he did not know she was a Jew.

It was time for Queen Esther to do what the Lord intended for her to do. To stand up for her people.

Mordecai must have known a lot of the Word of God because he had faith in the Word of the Prophets.

Israel would be delivered, if not by Queen Esther then someone else.

To set at large, is to give freedom to move without obstruction.

Psa 18:36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

Psa 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

We need this to be very clear ourselves.

If God has a job, He has asked us to do, the work of God always comes with blessings.

If we decide to go against the request of God, God will just get someone else to do that thing and they will also get the blessings we could have had ourselves.

God’s plan will go forward, with or without us!

Queen Esther knew that Mordecai was right in what he had said.

Queen Esther also knew that much prayer would certainly help.

*****Est 4:15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
Est 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Queen Esther also knew the laws of the Persians and she could not go before the King unless she was called and if she took it upon her own to go to him it could resort in her death.

Then she shows her faith.

If faith and prayer can move mountains, then surely faith and prayer and fasting could save a nation.

All throughout the history of the Jews they were punished because of disobedience, surely by obedience then God would do as He had always promised, to deliver His children.

If we do not see that Queen Esther obtained favor of all those around her then we have missed a great point.

No doubt the faith and courage of this young woman was an admirable quality that even the King had noticed.

Even the King had not just chosen Esther by her looks, she had great personal skills and an aura of success in everything she did, and she must have thought a lot about Persia, but the Promised land was her true home even if she had never been there.

Sounds like typology to me.

I am an American and love my nation, but heaven is my promised land and also my true home!

When we take a stand on the Word of God, so what we perish, we will wake up in Heaven the very moment we lose our life!

2Co_5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co_5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

These things will become more important the closer we get to the Second Coming of the Lord.

I believe we can already see these things happening as some people lose these jobs for taking a stand against the sins of our nations and other nations included.

What did Mordecai do? Exactly what his Queen said to do because he knew it was the right thing to do!

*****Est 4:17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

We can see that fame and fortune cannot always keep us out of danger.

That palace could have been a prison to Queen Esther, if not for the relationship she had with her adoptive father.

Again we can see the typology in these things.

Power and opportunity can also be used to move the Word of God if that opportunity presents itself and they too can take a stand on the truth of God.

All these things work because the key ingredient in these things were 1) Faith and 2) The ongoing, never relenting, plan of God working in our world. Even working in our governments.

We need to vote only for people who we know are faithful believers when the opportunity presents itself.

Queen Esther went to the King because of her faith and love of Jehovah but she also knew the King loved her and would never bring harm to her.

Queen Esther was in instrument in the hand of God and no one could stand against this kind of power!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

God Working in Our World

Providential Provision

Book of Esther Chapter 1 and 2

The thing we should already know is that God is working behind the scenes to place people in certain situations that become a benefit to His people. The Jews (Hebrew) and also the Church. All those in the family of God!

Some question the reason the Book of Esther is included in the Old Testament Canon of the Bible. We may not know the actual man who used his pen to write the words of Esther, but our only concern should be that the Holy Spirit gave these words to us and we can learn from all the 66 Books of the Bible.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The Book of Esther was written to the Jews but again the Church can learn the workings of God!

Again we can see how we are placed in particular places of work, of communities, of nations, to be available for God’s use. Until that time comes, we are to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and be active in the Church.

In the end, the time of Esther is remembered as a national feast day called Purim.

Purim is remembered to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from Persia.

The main topic we should see is, that God is working in the world to keep His truth as is written in the Word of God.

God has a plan and that plan unfolds at the perfect time and will continues to do so, even after the Rapture of the Church!!!!!

*****Est 1:10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
Est 1:11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

This king is named Ahasuerus in the Hebrew, but he is Xerxes in the Greek language. The title Ahasuerus is used somewhat like we use the title President. This Ahasuerus maybe the third King of Persia.

Those of us who might be ashamed of our past know that there is a big difference between intoxicated and sober. While intoxicated a person might be able to walk and to talk, but decision making may not be a wise thing to do while in this condition.

We must understand that God made mankind in His image. This may not mean in looks or in physical attributes, but it certainly means for us to have the characteristics of God!

Whatever instrument used to tarnish the glory of man or woman, whether it be alcohol, drugs, or immorality or any other such thing is a terrible sin in the eyes of God.

Whatever we do or say that is unbecoming of God’s character and anything we do that we would be ashamed of at a later time then comes from these evils and no only destroys our character or better said our integrity, can cause us sinful harm and cause injury to others!

The fact is drunkenness does not destroy responsibility!

We are always responsible for our actions when we have taken it upon ourselves to do these things!

We are accountable for our actions!

What does the Scriptures teach us?

Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

A chamberlain, men who were made eunuchs, were for the most part were grown children from high ranking nations that had been conquered by Persia.

Again God said it this way:

Isa 39:7 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

Some of these chamberlains were sent after Vashti who was the Queen of Persia at this time.

They went and Vashti said no.

*****Est 1:12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

We must understand the King had many other men with him and Vashti was a beautiful woman and the king was treating her as nothing but a concubine he could show off to a bunch of drunken men.

To be quiet honest, when a beautiful woman is paraded before a bunch of sober men, many of the men will commit the sin of adultery in their minds.

Mat_5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Mat_5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

In a room full of drunken men it would only make matters much worse.

This was no way to treat a wife and Vashti had every reason to refuse to do this thing.

But as drunkenness does, the mind reacts in anger when the pride of a drunken man is bruised.

Now we know that God did not set this thing up, but He did use it to be a part of His plan to help the Jews.

What do a bunch of drunks do?

*****Est 1:12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

We must understand that whatever is ruling our heart, whether it be, pride, vanity, anger, or lust or most other things will greatly display itself under the influence of alcohol or drugs!!

These men gathered not just for one day, but this thing went on for weeks, and no doubt that Vashti knew what was going on at these meetings.

The king would put on a show of just how powerful his nation was and show off the great riches of his monarchy.

The king was the sole ruler of this nation of 127 provinces and these men who he was drinking with were under his direct control.

In his drunkenness he could not allow Vashti to be disobedient.

Pro 31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Pro 31:5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

In truth, his anger may not have lingered if he was not urged on by bad councilors.

In all these things Vashti was right.

In Persian Law it was written that men should not cause their wife to be publicly on display before men.

In fact it is this time in history when Arabian women would wear all the things that could cover her up before other men and led to the ridiculous standard that some use for evil today.

Even without such a law, women should never be asked to such a thing as Vashti was ordered to do.

Vashti was right to refuse!

After the anger:

What is wrong with America today? In every facet of our life and our government we need man and women of strong moral character but what we see are men and women who are morally corrupt, insincere, dishonest, corrupt, unjust, abusive, overbearing, even wicked and evil.

Just this week I saw where a man who is a Governor, and claimed to be gay, married to another man he called is husband, but also claiming to be a Christian, questioning our Vice-President who is a Christian and lives trying to be like Christ, which is the meaning of Christian. He also questioned the sincerity of our President saying if he is saved he could be no more than a babe in Christ.

I certainly question his false doctrine!

Jesus Christ would never go along with the gay lifestyle because according to the Word of God it is the sin of fornication because only the marriage of one man to one woman is seen as the truth of the Scriptures. This is the world we live in today!

What happened after this king sobered up and taken time to reflect on his anger?

*****Est 2:1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.

He had given in to his passion and pride and treated his wife as a woman of low or no morals, when she had more morals the he and all his counselors but it was she who was penalized.

When we act under the influence of rage we will never do right. We may brag with our lips and speak eloquent words. but our wisdom will be far from us. We most certainly cause more harm than good.

We can also see this king did have some feelings for his queen, but his actions had broken this bond and it could not be mended because of some foolish law that could not be broken.

He had committed injury to himself along with causing this woman to suffer all her remaining days! There was no remedy!

The laws of the Medes of the Persians must stand or a precedent would be made!

This king would be four years without a queen and even this remedy was set up by other men.

It is this place where we can see the hand of God.

God was not involved in the party life nor the anger.

God is only involved in solutions!

We will also see where a poor Jewish girl who certainly was a beautiful woman could stand in the midst of worldly royalty and be chosen as the new queen.

The historian Josephus wrote that this king was so angered at his advisers that he had them put to death.

So what was the answer to this dilemma?

*****Est 2:2 Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:
Est 2:3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:
Est 2:4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.

When this plan was conceived none of these men could realize how Jehovah would take this and make it useful to the restoring of the Jewish people to their native land the Promised land!

We already know that this king ruled over 127 provinces so there would probably more than this number originally chosen to come to Sushan the palace of the King.

This eunuch name Hege had the job of overseeing the harem of this king. In reality many of the kings including Jewish kings may have had only one queen but they would sometimes have many concubines.

Hege would look after these many virgins because they required more care and certainly protection and Shaashgaz would then look after the concubines of the king which we will see in a later Scripture.

The difference between a queen and a concubine was that only the queen was entitled to inherit the physical things of the king in some lands even the throne.

What we see in all these things is that the Word of God would be against all these things in seeking a wife.

I guess nothing was much wrong in the picking of the maidens except most of them would probably be no older than 16 and as young as 12.

The wrong certainly would come in the king’s selection process.

Most men might see this as delightful thing I personally do not. Sin is never the right process!

Let’s see how God intervenes.

*****Est 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
Est 2:6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

Mordecai was a direct descendant of King Saul of Israel and a Benjamite. It would be Mordecai that God would use to to install Esther as Queen of Persia.

We must still understand that “all” Scripture is given to the Jew and to the Church for us to learn from.

Even if Mordecai was a baby when taken from his homeland by Nebuchadnezzar, he would be an old man by our standards, but he was not too old to be used of the Lord.

God chose him to be an intricate part of this plan for a Jew to win the heart of this king.

Sexual exploitation goes against the Word of God, but today we live in a world of lose morals and free sex and again there is nothing free in this life beyond the gifts of God.

There are consequences for all immorality!

No long term relationship between one man and one woman can depend on a physical relationship.

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Mordecai had raised his uncle’s daughter Hadassah, we know as Esther.

It was this Mordecai who by the inspiration of God, saw a way to help the Jewish people.

*****Est 2:7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.

The name Hadassah was her Jewish name, but her name would have to change if she was to be presented as anything but a Jew.

The significance of the name Hadassah was so called “because as the myrtle spreads fragrance in the world, she did spread good works, inspired by Jehovah God!

The King named her Esther.

The Holy Spirit will now teach us how a beautiful Jewish maiden won the heart of a king.

We begin to see another typology begin to develop.

She had neither a father, nor a mother but she was fair and beautiful.

Mordecai had already passed up two opportunities to return to his homeland.

Once when Zerubbabel and again when Ezra had returned, and we can only surmise that he was involved in the politics of Persia and was successful at it.

We see this today as many successful Jews in America remain in America rather than return to Israel as so many others have.

Remember many people are in place by the hand of God to be used as according to God’s plan as we will see in this story of Esther who could not have survived without her cousin Mordecai who treated her as his daughter.

Another thing we should understand is that if the Persian government needed someone for any reason, they just took them even if they were not willing.

Most of these women jumped at the chance to be Queen of Persia.

Esther was put forth by Mordecai and God knew she would be the chosen Queen!

*****Est 2:8 So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
Est 2:9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.

Because of the humble grace and beauty of Esther she was not only taken because of the king’s commandment but she also found favor with Hegai and he knew that there was something about Esther that made her special.

Esther was taken to the king’s palace and began the year long purification process.

The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that there were 400 ladies chosen to take part in this process.

We can just imagine that most all these ladies were willing to have a chance to become queen of Persia.

The one thing that was hidden from all these people including the king was that Esther was a Jew!

Esther was a Jew, she was a virgin, and she had kept herself pure according to the Word of God, and not some Persian law which for the most case were immoral laws.

In these things we are reminded that Esther could represent a type of the Church, the Bride of Christ.

The steps used to please this king was in 3 steps.

1) Each one would be given 12 months of beauty treatments.
Six months of oil baths and massages.
Six months of perfume, and beauty treatments.

2) At the end of the first year each one would be selected to spend one night with the king.
In order to look their best they were given anything they requested that they thought would enhance their chances to please the king.

3) After spending that one night with the king, they were transferred to the king’s harem, where they were would live until they were called upon again by the king locked up from the outside world.

Let’s read more of Esther:

*****Est 2:14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.
Est 2:15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.

For one whole year each of these young ladies had prepared just to spend one night with the King of Persia. For these 12 months they got touch the luxuries of the kingdom. We are sure most every one of these young maidens would do everything they could to make themselves even more attractive.

Many do the same today, but most all are not aware that God looks upon the inside.

Each of these maidens may have had the hope of becoming the Queen but after only one night, all but one may live a life where there physical needs were met but they would never be called upon again and they could not return to their families nor have what most would call, “a life”!

The chamber of the concubines was nothing more than a prison with good food, all hope destroyed.

All in all there was nothing that happened in those 12 months that could make anyone clean, much less pure.

It takes the blood of Jesus to wash away all our sin!

When Jesus was dying on the cross and the beating, and the crown of thorns, caused the blood to run down into His eyes, as He looked through that blood to those on the ground He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”!

Just as those maidens found, there is little hope in this world, and powerful men keep most of the world locked into the prison of a life without benefits.

It is only the love of God that can satisfy the soul!

When each maiden had gotten her opportunity to spend that one night with the king, and suddenly that night was over, and she found herself in the house of the concubines.

It became Esther’s time to do this thing.

Esther requested nothing more than the advice of the King’s chamberlain, who knew the king better than anyone.

The beauty of Esther stood out because it was a natural beauty that the world could not improve upon!

You see being a child of God is to possess a beauty that cannot be improved upon by the world.

It is a beauty that is as a shining light that stands in a dark world!

Esther carried herself as that child of God that needed nothing from this world!

Esther was not only beautiful to the eye, but she was beautiful in her heart and carried herself having a strong character.

When Esther walked into a room, all eyes just naturally focused upon her!

Son 6:9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
Son 6:10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

It was Esther who pleased this king!

Son 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

*****Est 2:16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
Est 2:17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

The Bible always slips in these little time lines which are always found to be true!

It was December, after all Shushan was the winter palace.

What happened? It was love at first sight.

King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) loved Esther above all women he had ever seen!

Another type we can see that Jesus loves the church.

Eph_5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

It was Esther who would be Queen of Persia!

There is a little parable that we are reminded of here.

Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Why were many more Jews released to go home?

*****Est 2:18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.

Esther was certainly a beautiful woman, but her beauty far exceeded that of just looks.

Esther undoubtedly had characteristics that caused her to be attracted to the king.

She had pleased Hegai the king’s chamberlain on first sight.

Esther was wise, she had kept her nationality a secret and presented herself for who she was, a young beautiful maiden from the lands of Persia.

We can know the each of the maidens were sought for their differences. Persia was a conquering nation and ruled 127 provinces.

Makes us think of the Lord!

Joh_3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In fact, it could be said that the entire plan of God, is based upon this one Scripture!

Esther was trustworthy, she was dependable, she was faithful, and we will soon see that Queen Esther was loyal.

Just like the First Lady of our own nation, Esther would have many official duties and she would never be asked to dance before drunken house guest.

The King had learned this lesson well!

What we should be able to see is how God has taken a situation, caused by evil men, and turned it into an opportunity to help the Jewish nation rebound from captivity!

The Plan of God is still working in this world!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

God’s Covenant

Obeying God’s Covenant

Book of Nehemiah Chapter 12

A “covenant” is an agreement between two parties.

A covenant is used in many ways in the Scriptures, but we must know that God has made a covenant with all mankind.

God has not only has made a covenant with all mankind, He is also the true witness to all covenants that we make with each other.

Even the marriage between one man and one woman is a covenant witnessed by God!

What was a part of God’s covenant with Abraham?

Lev 26:42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
Lev 26:43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
Lev 26:44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
Lev 26:45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.

God will never forget the covenants He has made!!!!

Deu 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

The covenant that effects the church the most is, the Covenant of God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ!

Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

So let’s continue in the Book of Nehemiah:

*****Neh 12:27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.

These Levites were not in Jerusalem nor were they in Persia, they had returned to their cities that had been assigned to them from the time of Joshua.

We must know that God has intended all along for Jerusalem to be the most holy city in all the world, but that will not take place until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even so, the wall was built according to the plan of God, and it should be dedicated to Jehovah God who had blessed its reconstruction!

When we see the things that only God could have accomplished, we are foolish to not praise Him for those things, also knowing, there are many things that we do not recognize that God has accomplished, according to His plan, that moves ahead every day.

The Levites had been set apart for the priestly duties, including the work of the Temple, including the handling of sacrifices, but also arranging for the things of worship.

Remember the Nethinins were responsible for the care of the Temple.

It was also the Levites job to purify all the instruments of worship, including the musical instruments and by singing praises to the Lord.

The Levites were a gift of God to the Hebrew people and they still are today!

We must always understand that the city of Jerusalem is a special place set aside for the use of God!

The world could help to make this happen now instead of rejecting the plan of God or God has already said He will solve this problem Himself!

All those who claim the Lord Jesus Christ, should know all these things!

We as Christians must be dedicated to the Lord. This is the act of consecration, setting apart ourselves for the Lord.

*****Neh 12:28 And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi;
Neh 12:29 Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.

Netophathi was the home city set aside for the Levites, but these particular Levites were singers.

Most of the singers for the worship in the Temple lived there, but some did also live in what is called the plain country, round and about Jerusalem.

That word plain is where the term Palestine comes from!

Although the Temple, the City of Jerusalem and homes were already dedicated to the Lord, this may be the first time that the walls of Jerusalem were dedicated to the Lord God Jehovah.

We might understand by this act of dedication, that the walls of Jerusalem were useless without the strength of God to protect them from His and our enemies.

The wall we build around ourselves, is the wall of salvation, and this wall is protected by the Divine Will of God, if we have dedicated ourselves to the will of God!

We need this wall of salvation, because within our house (our soul) dwells the Holy Spirit (Ghost) of God!

How did these Levites purify themselves?

Num 8:7 And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.

*****Neh 12:30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.

Notice that all these things were meaningless, unless they were purified!

We must understand to be purified, is to put away all false gods and the idols of this world, and give ourselves to the Lord.

We must repent of our evil ways and walk in the ways of the Lord!

We cannot do this unless we have accepted the work of Jesus Christ to save us and the truth of our Creator!

We cannot be used of God to reach others, until we our saved and separated from this world of sin, pure in mind, (the mind of Christ), and sincere in the work the Lord has given us to do!

Why was the wall purified, because it was in fact a “type” of the power of God to defend Israel.

We must remember Solomon’s Temple, the city of Jerusalem, and these walls would never have been broken down had the previous generation been obedient to Jehovah.

It was disobedience to the Word of God that had caused all the problems of the nation buy God will never forsake the nation of Israel.

2Ch 36:14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
2Ch 36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
2Ch 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
2Ch 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

With all these things now in the past, it was now time to look forward.

The Temple was rebuilt, the City of Jerusalem was rebuilt, the Walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt, and it was time to rededicate these things to the God who had allowed these things to happen.

*****Neh 12:31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate:
Neh 12:32 And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah,
Neh 12:33 And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,
Neh 12:34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

Nehemiah brought the princes up on the wall because they were the descendants of the royal family of King David, but they were not the government at this time because Nehemiah was the governor assigned by King Artaxerses.

It was important that all the people see that the royal family were in agreement with these things Nehemiah had set his heart to accomplish.

The one thing the people needed to see, was that this wall that had been built so quickly was a sound wall and able to protect them and it was truly a work of God.

The walls of Jerusalem were wide enough for many people to walk upon.

We should remember, that the Dung Gate would show all of them the place where the filth of the city could be seen.

One half of these groups of princes would be led by Hoshaiah which means (Jah has saved), who we know nothing more about.

Azariah could possibly be the leading prince of the tribe of Benjamin.

We already know that Ezra was a descendant of the High Priestly family and a scribe of the Word of God.

This Meshullam, was also one of the chief men of the tribe of Benjamin.

Judah was a man who Nehemiah had made to be over one half of the city of Jerusalem.

This Benjamin was one who had to give up his Gentile wife, and a high-ranking man of the tribe of Benjamin.

This Shemaiah was one who was the head over certain of the priests.

This Jeremiah was also over certain of the priests.

This group on the wall had the princes from the royal line of King David, the two men assigned by Nehemiah to be in charge, each over one half of Jerusalem, the princes of the tribe of Judah, the princes of the tribe of Benjamin. and the heads of all the Levites and the priests.

If these people were convinced that the walls were safe and part of the dedication ceremony, then they could encourage all the other Jews, who we can be sure were watching as these men made their trip around the Walls of Jerusalem.

Since this was a joyous occasion, then there was a need for music.

*****Neh 12:35 And certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets; namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph:
Neh 12:36 And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.

We know that Asaph had been appointed by King David, to be over all the music of the worship services and even in the time of Nehemiah, this family still provided the music for worship and at this dedication of the walls of Jerusalem.

We should understand that in typology, these walls represented the Divine protection of God.

Psa_5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

This Zechariah was the descendant of Asaph, and all these others were part of that family.

Those musical instruments would include:

The harp or better known as the lyre.

The psaltry another type of harp.

The sackbut another type of harp that had only 4 strings.

The lute which was a type of guitar.

The gittith another type of string instrument.

The timbrel a form of tamborine.

The toph which is a drum.

There would be bells.

There would be cymbals.

And of course there would be trumpets of different types, possibly including bagpipes.

We can see that it was an orchestra that was upon that wall this day of dedication.

Music should always be a part of our own dedication to the Lord!

It was Ezra, the Priest and Scribe, who led this group of musicians.

This group climb onto the wall at the house of David.

*****Neh 12:37 And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward.

We know that Jerusalem is built upon a hill with the Temple upon a hill of Mount Moriah, so certainly there would be many steps in the city.

By dedicating the walls of Jerusalem in such a manner, Nehemiah was hoping that the people would be encouraged to complete the reconstruction of the City of Jerusalem.

The city of Jerusalem was under the control of Persia for more than 200 years and then about another 150 years, a part of the Greek empire.

Then came Herod and the Roman Empire.

It will be the Lord, when He returns, who will build the city of Jerusalem to His specifications, and then about 1000 years later or a bit more we that love the Lord will see the New Jerusalem.

In this world it seems all we see is destruction and rebuilding then rebuilding walls for protection.

It amazes me, that many of the well to do, will build walls around their own homes, but deny that we need walls to secure our nation.

They will have armed guards, but try to deny all other the right to defend their homes and families.

They will confine others to limited health care, while they legislate themselves a total free healthcare system.

They will confine many to small wages, while they insist on grand monies while they work and a grand retirement.

We do not live free as our forefathers planned, we are ruled by reprobates who reject the Word of God, and seek only power and prestige.

Shame on us for allowing this to happen in our nation!

The other half of this company after giving thanks to the Lord God Jehovah, went in the opposite direction.

*****Neh 12:38 And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;
Neh 12:39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.

We have Nehemiah who represented the Government of Israel, and Ezra representing God’s people, speaking in one voice this day in Israel.

These people realized what could happen when they all worked together and according to the Word of God.

When we have been thru the valley of contention and made it to the crest of truth again, we should take a moment to look back where we came from and how the power of God had brought us again to the hill top.

We need to remove all negativity from our minds, and just trust the Lord to lead us.

Look back and see how history could have been changed, had the tiny nation of Israel remained true to the Word of God.

We could also say the same thing for our own nation!

One day we will live in a world where no one will be against the Word of God, and it will be a perfect world!

There will be no fish gate, and certainly no prison gate, no sheep gate and no old gate.

They will all be gates of pearl!

Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

In the New Jerusalem there be 12 foundations and each name had inscribed with the names of the 12 Apostles.

Those 12 men who obeyed the Lord Jesus Christ, and did cause the Gospel to begin its trip to all the world!

*****Neh 12:40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me:
Neh 12:41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;
Neh 12:42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.

What do we know? We know that the work that God has given us to do is not druggery. It is a very satisfying thing to lead someone to the Lord.

It is a joyous thing to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know that God wants all things done decently and in order.

What do all evolutionist miss along with most people of this world? They miss the fact that every living creature, every landscape, and every plant, every solar system and every process in God’s Creation are done decently and in order.

The truth of our universe is that it is orderly going about what God intended it to do.

The only thing where problems come is mankind!

These two groups in one voice gave thanks to God, not because they had returned to the Promised Land, but because they knew the Word of God was true and it will always be true!

God will fulfill every promise He has ever made to the Church and to the nation of Israel and its people.

We can open the Word of God and see a loving God who will do exactly what He says He will do.

Some will say that a loving God would never send anyone to Hell, but they have not understood the Word of God which teaches us how to avoid Hell, so if we end up in Hell then the blame is entirely on ourselves!

To be a Christian is a serious thing, because our goal is to be like Jesus Christ. He is our example and He teaches us, we cannot be perfect while we remain on this earth. This is still or goal and it is a happy and peaceful thing to accomplish.

There is still time for all the things concerning mankind to be accomplished!

Ecc_3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

This time grows shorter each day and God does not do things on our schedule but only on His schedule and His schedule will never change.

We can rejoice in the Lord and in our salvation, or we can give up on the Lord and be failures as Christians.

We see the failures of Christians in our nation every day. There are enough Christian in our nation to put good and righteous people in our government, but we sit at home and refuse to vote!

Either way, God’s plan moves along at His pace and we know the Lord will return when we lease expect it, and He will still be right on time no matter what is going on in this world.

Are we in a severe climate change? The Lord promised we would have the four seasons until He returns.

Will this world end drastically? The Church will be in Heaven well before this thing could ever take place!

God says to quit worrying about these things, and get busy serving the Lord.

Then stand upon your own personal wall, and give God the praise and worship that we should give Him every day!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Reviving A Nation

Revival and Renewal

Book of Nehemiah Chapter 8

The title of this lesson could have been, “The Revival of a Nation”!

We should clearly understand that walls can only do so much. What kept Israel safe was a relationship with God the Father, as a nation.

What will keep America safe? When the majority of people have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

I believe there was a time in America that this was true, but now the Church has become lazy, and even worse the Church has allowed the world to get inside the Church and the walls of the Church are crumbling and falling down.

What worked in the day of Nehemiah and Ezra will work again today, to revive God’s Church and get back to the business of redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Isaiah said send me.
As Ezra said send me.
As Nehemiah said send me.

We of the Church have got to take a stand and say Lord send us!!!!!

The Word of God already teaches us God’s blessings and it is only by the Word of God that we can bring revival back to the United States of America and only by the revival of God’s people.

If we want to see change in America, then we have to get back to the truth of God’s Word and live by God’s standards!

We do not need those books that have eliminated the truth of God, we must have the old standards and truths of the Scriptures. There are no new interpretations of the Scriptures. What God said the Jews He is saying to us, rightly divided.

What God has said about sin is the same for today!

Let’s see how Nehemiah describes what happened:

*****Neh 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.

How do we revive our nation?

We must have a desire to live according to the Word of God!!!!!!

With all the things that had happened since Zerubbabel brought that first group back to Jerusalem from the captivity caused by Nebuchadnezzar, these people had seen that Jehovah God had been the key to success.

God’s Word had proven to be true over and over again!

The men who would stand up and speak the Word of God would not be charlatans, but they would be scholars of the Word of God.

A scholar is anyone to takes the Word of God as the truth, and teaches the fundamentals and the doctrines of the Scriptures.

We should all be scholars of God’s Word!!!!!

We notice immediately is was the people who demanded to hear what God has said and they spoke with one voice.

Ezr 3:1 And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together “as one man to Jerusalem”.

They had lived under the pagan laws of the world and there was not much truth in those things.

Most of them had not heard the Word of God at all.

Some had preserved what God had said, and taught as many as they could while in captivity.

It is hard to believe anything when you are a slave in a foreign country!!!!!

They went straight to the one man they trusted with the truth, which was Ezra and said to him, “teach us the laws of Moses”.

These were the laws that God had given to Moses for the Children of Israel, after the escape from Egypt.

They did not want some modern version, they wanted the truth of God, because they were tired of lies, they hungered for the truth!

*****Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

For those who do not know, the Jews had 613 laws that concerned their daily lives. Much more that the 10 Commandments that we usually think of.

The very first law is the one broke most often by us all!!!!!

Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

If we loved the Lord as we claim, then we would obey Him in all things!

The truth is, the Lord proves over and over that He is worthy of worship and praise. As Christians we owe the Lord our lives and our freedom.

So many have forgotten the truth of God, and are twisted in their thought patterns. by unscrupulous men who intend to see them fail.

God has blessed His Word as the instrument of the Church!!!!!

It is Bible truth that has changed the lives of so many and not the world which only teaches lies!!!!!!!!

Ezra had remained loyal to God all his days. He had made sure the Word of God, (by the Holy Spirit) had been preserved in its purity all his days and on this day, he had gotten the opportunity to preach, read, instruct, deliver the pure Word of God, to all those who had gathered in the city square of Jerusalem, the city of God.

These people had a renewed trust in their God Jehovah, who had done everything He said He would about their captivity and their freedom.

When you are on the receiving end of God’s truth, you never forget what God has done for you!!!!!!

Many of these people had never heard the Word of God, they had only heard the stories that others had said about it.

So all these people gathered for one thing and that was to hear the laws concerning their way of life.

We can be fools if we want to, but we all need directions in the purity of life and the thoughts of our Creator!!!!!

The Words of the Bible teach us the ways of our Creator and His character, and He simply ask us to be more like Him and He teaches us how we can do that.

As Christians we may not have those 613 laws, but we certainly are to be obedient to the Ten Commandments and again we may ask ourselves why, but it shows we are willing to trust God!!!!!!!

Again the greatest of those laws is to love our Creator, who is Jehovah God to the Jews and the Lord Jesus Christ to all Christians.

They are One and the same person!!!!!!!

Ezra had been in Jerusalem for possibly 13 years or more. He had set up the worship in the Temple and installed the priests to their functions and the Nethinims to their functions and he had beautified the inner parts of the Temple.

The people had never gathered in the way they had gathered this day!

It was the walls being rebuilt that had given them security that had caused them to gather in such a quantity on this day.

Nehemiah was a worthy “Governor” and “Ezra” was a worthy man of God. People they could trust.

We have many similarities in the USA today. We have a worthy President. We have the pure Word of God. We just do not that feeling of security because so many fought against the building a wall for security but have built the many walls of sin to surround us.

The Bible says that Ezra read from daylight until noon and still this congregation was inspired by what he read.

There is only One other who we know that read the Word of God and explained it better than Ezra and it was the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mat 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

We might ask ourselves, when were pulpits first used?

*****Neh 8:4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Matthias, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
Neh 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

This may not be the time of the first pulpit, but it tells of the need for the pulpit.

We know that radio has its special place, but most people would rather see who is doing the talking.

In reality, Ezra was obedient to the Lord by being bold enough to stand before these people and give the Word of God.

This is a great example for every Preacher and also for every Christian.

We can also see that the government endorsed this event as Nehemiah was now the Governor of Israel.

This platform was built large enough to hold 14 men.

The first thing we notice is that when Ezra open the Book (scrolls) these people showed reverence to the Word of God by standing.

No one told them to stand, they just stood in reverence to the Word of God.

I’m sure they did not stand for the entire 6 hours. It is also to be expected that these other 13 men would assist Ezra in the reading of the Word of God.

From this time on, the Jewish nation stood for the reading of the Word of God, a practice we observe in my church, named Gethsemane.

Another thing Ezra and these 13 men did was to “make sense of the Word”.

They preached the message of God and how to apply it to their daily lives!

You see, if we do reverence the Word of God for what it is, the inerrant, infallible, non-changing, perfect, Word of God, then we are not true believers.

The Word of God is not only true, but it is the truth. There is no higher authority than the written Word of God!

2Pe_1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

For those who sit quietly in their pews, we see it is OK to say Amen when we hear the true Word of God and its meaning!

We should never sit quietly to hear any twisted version or a false preacher, they need to be run out of our assemblies.

We must remember it is the people who are the Church, the Bride of Christ!

We can also see the lifting up of the hands as a form of worship. To worship is to celebrate the Truth of God, without being ridiculous.

We do these things in reverence to our Savior.

When we raise up our hands, they need to be “Holy Hands”!

A proper appreciation of God’s Word is necessary for spiritual success!!!!!!

Our worship service should not only be joyous, and unselfish, but be as God demands, “in Spirit and Truth!

Joh_4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh_4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

You see, now after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, at His first coming, now is the time to worship our Father in Heaven, by the means of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, whichever way you want to say it!

We must humble ourselves before our mighty God, and there is only One, His name is Jehovah and the Lord Jesus Christ!

For those who had trouble understanding, these men were provided to help them understand.

This is the way of making disciples!

***** Neh 8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
Neh 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

You see there is no one who should walk away from the house of God, that does not understand the truth of the Sermon, nor the application of the Word of God.

The Word of God is intended to be applied to our lives and by this, will those who are lost see a great change in us!

Psa 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

The key to understanding is to realize that the entire Bible is about our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

As we can see by the destruction of the Temple, the synagogue and the church how hold the importance for understanding the Word of God!

There was no one in this assembly was not informed of the truth of God!!!!!!

Remember once we hear the Word of God, we must make our decision to believe or to not believe!

Reminds us that day of Pentecost with the Apostles.

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Act 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Just so we know, every man in this assembly heard the Word of God in his own tongue. That word tongues, has the meaning of language.

Each one in their assembly heard the Word of God in his own language.

This was the gift of tongues and not something heard that even God did not hear, not some mumbling of the Holy Spirit.

We see again that Nehemiah was indeed the Governor of Israel.

*****Neh 8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.

Tirshatha means Nehemiah was Persian Governor of Judea, Ezra was now the recognized High Priest and remained a Scribe all his days.

The Levites, the descendants of Aaron, were the teachers and they taught the people according to the truth of God.

This day was not to be a day of sadness but a day of rejoicing.

The Word of God never brings sadness. It is sad only to those who desire to keep their sin and refuse to give it up!!!!!!

Giving up your sin is not a requirement for salvation, but once you love the Lord Jesus you will want to be more like Him, and Jesus our Savior had no sin at all, and this is to be our own goal!

Jesus Christ will help you to do away with your, sin just as He did me and many others by taking the “I Want To” out of your life.

I do not have a desire to sin, in fact I hate sin and every true believer will think along these same lines.

To be Christian is to be “Like Jesus Christ”!

The day of these things was most probable a new-moon day.

These people were sad because they felt the guilt of not knowing the Word of God as they should have and they felt a danger that God would once again send them into captivity, but if we will do as His Word says, and He will never go against His own Words!

There is a great need for the Christian community to study the Word of God!!!!!!

You cannot study the Scriptures unless you choose a Bible that is translated from the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.

Be very selective when choosing your Bible!!!!!

The Bible is its own best commentary, but you can get some help and thoughts from some of the commentaries, but again be very selective in choosing those commentaries!!!!!!

You will also need at least one dictionary and there are good biblical dictionaries.

We must keep in mind that these Scriptures were written in a time different from our own time, yet the Scriptures are just as relevant today as they were then, but we must consider these things.

It is most important that we know that the pure Word of God is the truth of God!!!!!!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It was now time to go back to their homes and meditate on what they had learned this day.

You see it was decision time!

*****Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Neh 8:11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

Every day we spend time in the Scriptures is a holy day!

We get alone with God when we pray, and we also get alone with God when we spend time with God’s Word.

We must treat the Scriptures as the very Word of God because this is the truth!!!!!!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

God the Holy Spirit inspired all the Word of God in many ways to those 40 or more men who actually penned those words for us!

When Ezra gave these words to the people he was saying, this was a joyful day and not one of fasting and grief.

Sure the Word of God convicted them of their sin, but it also showed them the means of redemption.

They need only repent and return to the Lord!!!!!!!!!

This day was probably the opening day of the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
Lev 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

Lev 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
Lev 23:40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
Lev 23:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
Lev 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
Lev 23:43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Lev 23:44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

Surely it was a time to help those who could not help themselves!!!!!!!

It was a holy day so there should be no signs of mourning, but a day of remembering all the good things God had for them.

It was by their own disobedience that they had suffered but those days would be over, if they remained obedient to the Lord.

Hab 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

Zep 1:7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

It will be the same when the Lord returns:

Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
Zec 2:11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
Zec 2:12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
Zec 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

It was a day of peaceful celebration because they had heard the Word of God and they had understood it!

*****Neh 8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

We must understand all the great revivals in our history began with a hunger for the truth of God!!!!!

This comes only by His Words and those who preach God’s Words and not their own words!!!!!!

There is truly a sweetness in God’s Peace!!!!!!

There is a dire need today within all societies for all Christian believers to study the Word of God, and awaken those who do not know the truth of God!

The Word of God does not only teach the commandments of God, but it teaches us how to be obedient to those commandments!

Here in the Bible belt of America many have become insensitive to the Word of God because it is heard so often, so we treat our Bibles like we treat other books and we need to get back the joy of the truth of God and avoid the miseries of this world.

We can still have the peace of God!!!!!

Php_4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It is the wondrous Word of God that keeps us motivated, in the immoral society of today.

We know the truth and it is not our truth to keep from others, it is indeed the truth that needs to be heard by all others and explained to all others!

The Word of God will also arouse us to show compassion to those who are without and those who are abused by the world today.

You want to make your life better!

Get into the Word of God and study and believe!!!!!!

Ask the Holy Spirit for His help!!!!!

We must understand that God has no secrets that He is trying to hide from us!

These people had seen the Temple rebuilt and so what, that it was not as glorious as the first Temple. Most had not seen the Temple of Solomon.

These people had seen the city of Israel restored and so what, that there were still signs of destruction.

These people had seen the walls of the city restored so they could have that sense of security that comes with walls.

The Word of God that also contained much of the history of their nation was again restored as the Words of Life.

God had met their needs, so it was not a time to grieve, it was a time to celebrate!

What do we have to complain about today?

It is still a time to study the Word of God to know the truth of God.

Jesus Christ is the God of the Bible.

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

We already have the pure Word of Life. Read it and understand the Love of God!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Opposed By Our Enemies

Opposition from Enemies

Book of Nehemiah Chapters 4 thru 6

The one thing we will always see as we are involved in the work of the Lord is, we will always be opposed by those in the world! Persecution is a fact of life for those who are believers and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

Most of the younger generation have never heard of the Ten Commandments but that does not mean they are free to live as they want to.

This next generation has been led to be against anything that is good, because it carries with it a high price and they are only interested in things that are free, when nothing in this life is free!

None of these things change what the Lord has given His followers to do!

Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem with the blessings of King Artaxerxes but the king was 900 miles away and did not realize how the enemies of Israel would act.

The spirit of antisemitism flowed heavily through those nations that surrounded Israel just as it does today!

This comes because these Jews served Jehovah God, who requires obedience and who rejects sin!

God was beginning again to show favoritism to the Hebrew children and the neighboring nations wanted to stop anything they did!

*****Neh 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

Before we see who this Sanballat is lets see who Eliashib is.

Eliashib was the high priest at that time, he did assist in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem but only that portion that connected to his house.

The truth is he and his family sided with the enemies of Israel.

Neh_13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:

Neh_13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

Neh_13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

Tobiah was an Ammonite and a Gentile and a partner to Sanballat but married into the Jewish family of the High Priest.

Sanballat was a Moabite but his daughter was married to the son of Eliashib and would also be a priest of Israel, and what did God say?

Neh_13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God “for ever”;

We should remember Gentiles could not enter into the Temple grounds.

Sanballat was a high ranking official of Samaria and would have been much better off trying to make Samaria a proud nation but he wasted his time seeking the destruction of Israel.

*****Neh 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

When we see those who have a sickening hatred of the Jews today, we can know it is hereditary and is from a long history.

These that have hated the Jews have seen what Jehovah has done for this tiny nation, but they have also seen how God has loved them and the prophecies of them, yet they have no fear of God and it will cost them dearly in the end.

Gen_12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This world of today is just like the those of the day of Nehemiah, and should be trying to get the blessings of God instead of the cursing of God!

Those who hate Israel will see complete destruction less they repent!

It had taken many years by great kings for the walls of Jerusalem to be built, no one could believe that these ordinary people could accomplish what Nehemiah had encouraged them to do.

When we seek God’s blessings, we can accomplish great things because He is always willing to help!

Now we see that Tobiah was also an enemy of Israel even though he was also in the family of the high priest.

*****Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

One of the first things people filled with hatred will do is to mock those they hate!

Tobiah was an enemy of the Jews but was married into a Jewish priestly family.

He actually had a room in the Temple that was reserved for the priest. This went against the Laws of Moses.

It was a mockery to the laws of God!

Remember the Jews wanted Titus stoned to death because they thought Paul had allowed him into the Temple

His son Johanan was married to Meshullam the daughter of another high-ranking Jew. They were also linked to Sanballat in causing problems for Nehemiah in rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

These two Jews and their families did not approve of what Nehemiah was trying to do.

The Samaritans and the Jews were already enemies, and these things just made the Jews hate them even more, so that by the time of our Lord Jesus, the Jews would not even walk through the nation of Samaria.

They mock and threatened the people of Jerusalem trying to stop the construction of the walls of the city.

Neh 13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
Neh 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
Neh 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
Neh 13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
Neh 13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Neh 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
Neh 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

Nehemiah prayed to the Lord against these evil men.

*****Neh 4:4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
Neh 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

What is the strategy of the devil? Mockery, Scorn, Insult, Making fun of, Taunting, Ridicule, among other things in an attempt to cause us to give up the work of the Lord.

So many who begin a work for the Lord, fall into this trap and become dishearten and will just quit on the Lord.

So, what is an imprecatory prayer? It is a prayer that is prayed for some evil to fall upon an enemy.

Psa 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
Psa 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psa 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

This prayer is for those who are wicked, reap exactly what they sow!

Without repentance this is exactly what will happen because this is truth of the Word of God for us all!

Job_4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

We must understand that God will execute justice on all those who reject Him.

This one thing is hated by all those who are lost! They cannot stand anyone who will not allow them to do as they please!

Those who reject us, as we seek to do the work of the Lord, are not rejecting us they are rejecting God!

Nehemiah was not praying for emotional vengeance, Nehemiah was praying for God to deliver His people from these wicked people!

This is the only way this prayer should ever be prayed, for our deliverance from evil!

Jesus Christ gave us this example.

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, “but deliver us from evil”: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

What is perseverance?

1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Perseverance is when we know we are kept by the power of God till He takes us home, and we just need to keep going with the work God has given us to do, no matter what opposition we face!

What did Nehemiah and those with him do? They continued to build the wall ignoring the threats of this enemy.

*****Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

What does it take to do a work for the Lord?

We need a mind for the work!

What is earnestness? We could say that earnestness is an intense desire to please the Lord.

Earnestness is a zeal to accomplish what we set out to do for the Lord!

What is the truth of this world? Our world is full of Sanballats!

All the Sanballats are not dead yet, in fact there may be more now than there have ever been!

When we criticize the work of the Lord, we have become a Sanballat ourselves!

Sanballats stand up and say, “we as Christians are not able”.
Sanballats offer active opposition even when the work of the Lord is going on.
Sanballats even cause despair to their friends who are involved in a work of the Lord.
Sanballats refuse to pray for certain works of the Lord to succeed!

How are we to react to Sanballats?

We are to work together to succeed.
We must be willing to strive for success.
We must pray to the lord for His help.
We must set our minds to the work.
We must have a courageous trust in the Lord!

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

When the Sanballats of the world have been ignored and that work is near completion, then we as Christians must be prepared for a frontal attack!

*****Neh 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
Neh 4:11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

The truth is, the more we know about our enemies, the better we can resist them.

What does the Holy Spirit say?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We must always understand, we will never have the strength to stand against this evil world alone, we must have with us, the Power of God!

Praying and standing guard are the very first things we must do to protect against the enemy’s attack!

We must understand that the enemy cannot take away our salvation, so we should know that our enemies want to ruin our testimony, and stop or hinder any progress we may have in our ministry for the Lord.

Knowing these things, then we know what to prepare for!

Satan is a persistent foe, but he is also already a loser, so we must understand a wounded lion is still a very dangerous enemy.

1Pe_5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We must never forget we are in a war!

*****Neh 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Neh 4:15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

We should get one thing very clear as we approach the Rapture and the Second Coming of the Lord.

We will have to fight for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will have to fight for our sons and daughters.
We will have to fight for our spouses.
We will have to fight for our homes.
We will even have to fight to keep our nation, remembering our true home is in Heaven.

The war with Satan and his followers is getting closer every day. In fact it has been going on since the time of Christ!

When these things are firm in our minds, then we can continue on with the work of the Lord because He wants us to succeed!

If we are too scared to fight then that fear did not come from the Lord!

2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We cannot allow the works of Satan and those rulers in high places, to cause us to fear for our lives because our lives are already in the hand of the Lord!

It is well that we should know our enemies then we can better resist them!

We must understand that some of our greatest enemies are already inside the Church!

Neh 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
Neh 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

There was only one answer then, and there is only one answer now!

*****Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Neh 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

How did Nehemiah counter the enemy?

Nehemiah placed people to work whose sole job was to look out for the enemy, and be prepared to fight to preserve the Children of God!

Every working soul was also given a weapon to keep near him or her.

We must be very clear. our God is much mightier than all the foes of the Church and if we will make our stand on the Word of God and not give in to the world, God will show His might to our enemies!

Confidence and faith go hand in hand!

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

We must clearly understand that as far as life is concerned. salvation is much stronger than anything our enemies can throw at us!

Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

What is the truth of our world?

*****Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Throughout history life has been to work and life has been warfare.

Most of these things are because of the curse of Adam.

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

These things will not change until after the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of the Lord.

As Christians we will face these things every day, but we will find that our greatest enemy is ourself.

Our internal wars are our most severe battles and the most painful.

If we overcome this our greatest enemy, we will be ready for the Lord. If we cannot overcome these things, then all our lives we will be subject to the fear of this world.

Our enemies of the world are all those who oppose the Word of God, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ even though some of those we may call our friends and even our family.

The one thing we need to remember when the trumpet sounds, we will be going home.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Our strength will always be the Lord!

*****Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
Neh 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

There are things that happen today that when the world observes them, they can only say that it had to come from God.

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to hold back the evil in this world and He cannot do that when the children of God are either too lazy to do the work or the church has quit on God.

We can say what we will, but both these things are happening in our Church today.

There is in reality a great falling away from the Church.

2Th_2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

There should be no doubt that we are in the day of that “falling away”.

Since this is true, then we could see the “man of sin”, the Antichrist come onto the scene at any time and he might already be here and has gone unnoticed.

The enemies of Israel in the day of Nehemiah had missed a great opportunity to cause harm to God’s people, not because they were afraid of Israel, but because they were afraid of the King of Persia.

Today the Children of Israel are safe from a true attack because they are allies of the United States of America.

If America ever withdraws the help to this tiny nation, or if America becomes too weak to help defend Israel, we will see that Israel will be attacked and then we will see that the prophesies of God will become a reality.

The job of the Church, at least here in America is more important now than ever, because we need to place our watchmen and gird up our loins, for we are in a war with the evil in our own nation.

We are foolish if we do not let our voice be heard.

God does not need any of us nor does He need our nation, His plan is going forward every day, but if we are on the Lord’s side, then we need to get busy!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Rebuilding The Walls of Jerusalem

Rebuilding the Walls

Book of Nehemiah Chapter 2:9-20

In last week’s lesson we met a Jewish man named Nehemiah who was born in captivity in Babylon. Remember King Nebuchadnezzar had taken most of the Jews of Jerusalem to Babylon after he had destroyed the city.

Nehemiah had never seen the city of Jerusalem but there can be little doubt that his parents had told him of God’s city of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah had great concern for those who had returned to Israel because God had softened the hearts of King Cyrus and King Darius and they had helped financed the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon that had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar.

Nehemiah was just a cupbearer for King Artaxerxes, who was now the King of Persia and he had learned of the turmoil of those who had returned to Jerusalem and he approached this king to release him long enough to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem so his people could be safe from the neighboring enemies.

King Artaxerxes gave permission Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem as long as he would return to his job as his personal cupbearer. A cupbearer could be considered today as a butler.

Nehemiah was given documents of proof of his mission, access to the king’s forest and an armed escort for the trip to Jerusalem a 900-mile trip that would have taken at least 3 months.

So let’s pick up our story where we left off:

*****Neh 2:9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
Neh 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

Many good things had not taken place in Jerusalem because of a lack of leadership. Ezra had done what he had set out to do. The work on the Temple was completed and worship and the festivals where being observed but the city lived in fear of the neighboring enemies.

As things improved in Israel and the land began to blossom, the enemy began to take notice and began to hinder the lives of the Jewish people.

We must understand that the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem would not be something that would be allowed by most conquering nations because, if rebellion came again it would take much time to regain control of Jerusalem, but King Artexerxes allowed this to take place because he knew the enemies of Israel and refused to allow these things in his kingdom. Again another type!

The name Jerusalem means the city of peace but there will be no true peace in Jerusalem until the return of the Messiah.

We can think of those enemies now as Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon who still cause problems for Israel.

They did not want Israel to remain a nation then, and they do not now.

They were pained to see someone come to seek the welfare of these Hebrew Jews. They did not know at that time that Nehemiah had come to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

We have no recording of the trip of Nehemiah, so we know it was without incident.

What we do know is, that King Artaxerxes cared for his cupbearer so much, for the safety of Nehemiah that it would have been foolish to confront this armed escort that was with him.

These governors were no more that puppet rulers who could have been quickly removed and replaced had they caused them harm.

So Nehemiah came to Jerusalem.

*****Neh 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
Neh 2:12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

After three day’s rest Nehemiah secretly looked at the task that needed to be done in secret, at night by the light of the moon.

He could not make plans until he evaluated the job that had to be done.

Nehemiah did not bring a large workforce, he would have to present his plan to God’s people to get this work done.

This is the same thing God does today. God does not have a work force, He presents His plan to God’s people.

Nehemiah was in love with Jerusalem and he had never even been there.

This is the way the church should be today!

We may never see this Jerusalem but as Christians we will see God’s New Jerusalem!

What does God say about these things?

Psa 51:18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Psa 51:19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

The walls of Jerusalem are as much about the city as the city of Jerusalem itself!

The walls would be built, and the gates would be repaired.

All those who reject safety and security of their nation, are no more than ambassadors for the enemy.

*****Neh 2:13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

Let’s look at these gates:

1) Gate of the Valley was the gate that opened to the Valley of Hinnon. In the days of King Solomon this gate led to where children were sacrificed to the false gods Molech. No Jew would enter at this gate because it was considered to be unclean.

It was King Josiah who finally broke down these false gods!

2Ch 34:4 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
2Ch 34:5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.

No one seems to know exactly where the “Dragon Well” was located though most of them believe it was the well that fed the “Upper Pool of Gihon”. Maybe the same as the “Serpents Pool” mentioned by Josephus.

2) The Dung Port was the gate where all the trash and the filth of the city was taken out of the city. It was located about 1500 feet from the Gate of the Valley.

*****Neh 2:14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

The Gate of the Fountain was the gate nearest to the Pool of Siloam which is also called the King’s Pool, some say this was the only true well in Jerusalem, others say it was probably the aqueduct built by King Hezekiah to bring the waters of Gihon into the city. This Gihon was a fountain near the city of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah had to walk for a time because of the rubbish that was gathering where this gate once stood, his horse could not pass for that rubbish.

*****Neh 2:15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
Neh 2:16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

The brook would be the brook Kidron, which carried the filth of Jerusalem to the Dead Sea when the rains came, but from there Nehemiah could see the Eastern wall and then he returned to get his horse.

When Nehemiah had gotten to Jerusalem, there was no sign of anyone being in authority and he did not try to contact anyone to see who might be in charge.

It was possible that there was a sort of town council.

It was only after Nehemiah had surveyed all the walls that he confronted the residents of Jerusalem.

*****Neh 2:17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

As Jerusalem had begun to grow into a city, they were at the mercy of their enemies who lived around them.

We know that as always, the rich survive but the poor are always at risk!

These words of Nehemiah brought assurance to these people and they went to work building the walls of the city.

Building the walls just seemed like an impossible task, but when you take a great big job and break it down into many small jobs then it no longer seems so impossible.

Jeremiah had described these things for us:

Lam 2:5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
Lam 2:6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
Lam 2:7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.
Lam 2:8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.
Lam 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.
Lam 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
Lam 2:11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

All these things that Nehemiah described were the things that God had allowed to happen to Jerusalem and the Temple, because these people had gone against the commands of God!

Eze 5:14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
Eze 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.
Eze 5:16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:
Eze 5:17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

These people did not need a reminder of the conditions they had to live with.

What they needed was encouragement and “faith” in God that they could change things if they would become obedient to the Lord!

The one thing that we so easily do is to forget we serve an almighty God, who is able to provide our needs and keep us safe from our enemies.

What are we supposed to do?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What will God then do?

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

*****Neh 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

When we witness to others, we need not tell them how great we are because we are a Christian, we need to brag on God.

We do not brag on God near enough today, yet God still loves us!

It is because we are obedient to God that things that most all things are better for us!

If these people would trust the Lord God of Israel, then they would be unstoppable in this world.

The hand of God was good on Nehemiah or how else could he have gotten favor with this Persian King.

We understand that the Lord works upon the hearts of people and just hearing again, “How Great Thou Art”, they quit being lazy believers and became obedient working believers.

All in all, God does not ask much of any of us! He asked us to believe Him and to do that we must accept that (all), (every word) of God is true!

Deu_8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Pro_30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Mat_4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luk_4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

When we say we trust God, then we are saying that we believe what He says, each and every word!

We should remember that caution in the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Ezra had made sure these people had the true Word of God and it was time for them to get busy for the Lord.

Again, God will not do for us things we can do for ourselves and there is no need asking.

If we are too lazy to do things that we are physically and mentally able to do ourselves then God will not help with those things.

God does the things that are impossible for man to do!

These people were in jeopardy for their lives because they were too lazy to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.

God sent a man of God, Nehemiah, to remind them of these things.

And of course, the enemy is always watching what God’s people are doing!

*****Neh 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?

A Horonite was known for their anger and fury and Sanballat had those qualities. These are some of the things that God says will cause us to sin.

Tobiah was a descendant of Lot and they have always hated the children of Israel, because they still thought that Lot should also receive the blessings of Abraham, but God does what God does and God says what God says, none of these things kept them from being blessed of God, but hatred and anger will never be qualities approved of God.

At this time this Geshem was the Chief of all the Arab nations, and through today the Arabs hate all the things of the Jews and would see the tiny nation of Israel disappear from the face of the earth, but God will not allow this to happen and those that defy God are foolish!

These Hebrews were not going against the King, in fact they were doing things that the King of Persia had already approved, so this time these Hebrews ignored them as they should have all along.

Nehemiah assured God’s people that if they were obedient to God, they did not have to worry about the King of Persia and in fact it was these trouble makers who had better worry about what the King of Persia might do to them.

We need some more men like Nehemiah today to challenge the Church to be obedient to the Lord!

As true believers, we also must challenge and exhort all others to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and join the family of God.

To be honest, God is not impressed with lazy Christians!

When we live self-centered lives instead of God-centered lives, we are most always in jeopardy of getting caught up in the sins of this world!

What are we to do?

1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

We are all to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

We are all to to be present in the House of God when the time comes to do so!

Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

This is the truth of God, and it is the truth of our salvation, because we are in the family of God and it is still time for us to take a stand on God’s Word without worrying about what the enemy will do!

Our wall is the Lord Jesus Christ and He opens one gate and that is the gate of “FAITH”!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

God Prepares Some Man

God Prepares a Man

Nehemiah 1:2-10; 2:2-8

So far, we have seen that Zerubbabel had been sent by King Cyrus back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, the House of God.

We know that once the foundation of the Temple was laid, the work of the Temple stopped for about 18 years and God sent the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (the government) and the High Priest (the religious leader) who had been beautifying their own homes and left off the work on the Temple.

After Haggai told them “Thus sayeth the Lord”, the work began again.

We know Ezra had come to rebuild the city and help with the Temple.

By this time there was over 100,000 people who had returned to Jerusalem and Judah.

All these people were at the mercy of their enemy and things were hard to accomplish.

It seems like Israel is always being attacked one way or another.

God sees all these things and God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, for the King of Persia to build the walls of Jerusalem.

Those who think God does not see what is going on in this world are foolish, God sees everything, and prayer is still the best way to get things done that we cannot do. God still expects us to do what we can do. He may not help us with those things!

Let’s begin at Nehemiah Chapter 1 and verse 1:

*****Neh 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
Neh 1:2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

King Artaxerxes had been on the throne for 20 years and history tells us he reigned for 20 more years.

The ninth month Chisleu would correspond to our November and sometimes part of December. The Winter months so this King was in Shushan which was the location of his winter palace. The Summer palace was located at Ecbatana. Nehemiah would have traveled with the king no matter where he traveled.

Today this location once a magnificent city is now only a place of ruins. This is also the city where the events of the Book of Esther took place.

The event that we will learn is things that happen after a conversation and then a serious prayer to the Lord and not just one prayer but a continuous prayer.

Nehemiah had never been to Jerusalem, but we know that he had been taught the Word of God by his parents.

Nehemiah had a deep concern about his fellow Jews which in that day, may have been called the Hebrew people by the world.

Nehemiah had compassion for his people, and this is a great lesson for us here today.

In fact the entire first chapter will show us the compassion he had for his people.

As we go through this lesson, we will see the Nehemiah is in typology another type of Christ.

Mar_6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Fourteen times in the books of the Gospel the word compassion is used about our Lord and Master.

If we are to be like Christ, we are to have compassion, especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ!

What was the message Nehemiah had learned?

*****Neh 1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

As we know from last week, these Jews were suffering because God had brought a drought.

They were suffering economically.
They were suffering spiritually.
They were suffering because of the greed of those who had control, the government
They were suffering because they feared the neighboring nations.
They were suffering because they had no fear of God!

Yes antisemitism existed even in that day!

When Nehemiah heard all these things he wept for his homeland and those who were trying to live without God!

Nehemiah knew that two groups of his people had been back in Jerusalem for many years now and he was not expecting such bad news.

Psa 44:13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
Psa 44:14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.

These things caused Nehemiah to weep for his homeland.

Nehemiah had such a great job in captivity he had given no thought of returning to Israel and Jerusalem, but that would now change.

*****Neh 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
Neh 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

These things broke the heart off Nehemiah, and we can watch as God immediately had plans for Nehemiah all along.

Nehemiah could feel the suffering of others in his own heart!

Nehemiah knew that Jerusalem was the most holy city in all the world, until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and the Temple.

He was hoping with all those who had returned, that things would have been much better.

God expects us to feel in our heart the needs of others! It is called compassion.

God expects us, when we are able, to help those with needs and we can do this through the Church if all the other needs of the Church are met.

Not many of us partake of fasting but sometimes fasting can clear our minds so we can see the needs of others, and the clear will of God

The greatest need of all is still salvation!

Salvation will open our eyes to the needs of others because to be saved is to trust the Lord and then try to be like Him!

Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

What we have seen is God had first placed the government back in Jerusalem along with the High Priest.

Next God sent Ezra to establish the Church.

Now God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, who had no great skills, to restore security to the city of Jerusalem.

God loves to use ordinary people with not many skills, because they know that they must trust in the Lord God to meet their needs!

And, Every step we take must be bathed with prayer!

*****Neh 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

Nehemiah had not returned to Jerusalem because of his position in the court of the Persian King. So God would test him to see if he was sincere.

If our prayers are not sincere and bathed in faith, God will hear, but He may not answer until Nehemiah had enough faith to see these things take place.

God always knows what He is going to do, and God knew that Nehemiah was the man He would use.

While Nehemiah was only a cupbearer, he could learn the workings of government being so close to the King of Persia.

We should understand that God places us in places not only to witness to the lost, but to learn a skill that can benefit the Church, even if it is just a high paying job so our tithes and offerings, will be a great benefit

Some people are prayer warriors, some people keep the church going with those tithes and offerings, and some people give of themselves to keep the church going.

There is a place for every member to the church!

Al these things are to work with the commands of Jesus Christ!

The main thing is that when God calls us for His use, then we need to say yes. Self-sacrifice is the great test of faith!

By being obedient to the Lord, we step into the wonders of the plan of God!

We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His supreme power over all His creation.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His majesty, and His goodness, along with His greatness.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His faithfulness to those who love Him.

Nehemiah was an intercessor for his people, and he did not know it as of yet.

Nehemiah realized that it was actually a sin that was holding up the progress in Jerusalem.

We will find out that it is a great sin not to pray for the peace in Jerusalem and be commited to Israel as much as we are commited to our own nation also realizing that we are ambassadors for Christ to all nations.

It is always sin that interferes with progress made in our lives and our relationship with the Lord.

*****Neh 1:7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

By not keeping the commandments of the Lord we show the Lord that we do not love Him!

Deu 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

This not just for the Jews.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

When we are not keeping the commandments of the Lord, rightly divided, we are also very corrupt against the Lord!

*****Neh 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Neh 1:9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Nehemiah realized why he was in captivity, it was because as a nation, Israel and Judah had forsaken the Lord.

Nehemiah also realized that God had allowed room for repentance and a great promise that God had made.

If they would repent, then God would gather these Jews no matter where they had been scattered.

Deu 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
Deu 30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
Deu 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Deu 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
Deu 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

We know from all these things written for us to see, that God did not break a promise then and God will not break a promise today.

How do we make America great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

How will Israel be made great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

It is the same for every nation where Christians are located!

Who was God talking to this day?

*****Neh 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

We know that God has made certain promises to the Children of Israel and God will keep all His promises.

We also know that God’s timing is in His control.

When God’s makes a promise we cannot dictate when that promises will be fulfilled, but we can be sure that God will fulfill our needs until that time comes.

God did not need to be reminded that this was the same people He had redeemed from Egypt, but He tells us to study the Scriptures, so we know these things and it was OK for Nehemiah to mention this fact to show his own trust in the Word of God.

Isa 64:9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

We also know God has made many promises to the Church and God will fulfill these promises also, again in His own time.

God has not forgotten any of these things, for it is impossible for God to forget about His children.

The good fathers always remember their children! Jehovah God is the “Greatest” Father

Nehemiah needed to see the king and God made a way for him to do so.

*****Neh 2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
Neh 2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. It was Nehemiah’s job to taste the wine to make sure it was safe to drink. If Nehemiah looked sick, then it could have been caused by the wine.

Certainly this king would have his eyes on Nehemiah to make sure he was healthy.

We should be able to see how God arranges things for our best interest.

Nehemiah was just some Jew who just happened to become the cupbearer for the King.

I’m sure the he was not to thrilled to be the one to make sure the King’s wine was not poisoned or spoiled.

In the end, Nehemiah had a great job but in reality, he was placed in that job just for the time that was coming now.

God always has a man in position for His plan to move forward, and I am sure He has some women in places also, just so His plan moves along as it should.

Nehemiah was not sick, he was brokenhearted, and it showed.

We will see how the plan of God is worked out with the utmost precision.

It took a lot of nerve for Nehemiah to address this king, but God had touched the heart of this king, so Nehemiah was treated more like a son than a stranger.

We can see all sorts of types in these passages!

The beginning of these things was the fact the Nehemiah had first prayed, in fact he had fasted and prayed because he had a true concern for his people.

Do we have that much concern for our children or our grandchildren that we would not fast and pray for our people just as Nehemiah?

We should pray first at the sign of trouble, we should pray often, and pray much, and sometimes we need to fast and pray and then we need to listen for God to answer. Remembering if it is according to the plan of God, He will never say no.

Salvation of our children and our families are in the will of God and part of His plan!

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Nehemiah stood in the gap and interceded for his people. We know of another, the Lord Jesus did so on a much grander scale.

As a father for his dear son, he asked, just what is it that you need?

And what did God say about our prayers?

Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

While this king was listening, Nehemiah wanted to be sure he asked for the right things and no one knew that better than God so Nehemiah made a real quick silent prayer.

*****Neh 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

Before we go too far, we must understand, there was no benefit for this king to allow the wall to be restored around the city of Jerusalem.

If Jerusalem rebelled again it would be costly to lay siege and wait on them to starve to death again.

Two groups had already been financed by Persia to rebuild the Temple so that to should not be asked again, but to keep the city secure, not from Persia, but from the locals such as Samaria, was a thing the king may consider, especially since God, Himself would put these things in the heart of this king.

Know this, that at any time this king could have refuse any or all the request of the Jews, but he did so willingly and gladly!

So Nehemiah requested and secured a royal commission to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls.

We should remember it was dangerous for Nehemiah to show a sad countenance in front of the king.

The kings in this day were always aware of plots to over throw the king or assassination.

When God touches a ruler’s heart, it is never about over throwing that ruler.

Nehemiah had prayed and he would speak the words God had given to him, and remember God’s Word never comes back void.

God’s Word will do what He sent it to do!

We must also remember prayers that are prayed out of an emergency, out of an immediate need, many times God will answer that prayer as soon as He receives it.

It was important that the things Nehemiah asked, to be pleasing to this king!

Here again we see another “type” to help us in our prayer life. We should never pray to the Father for things that are not pleasing our King, King Jesus!

Here again we see that Jehovah God was considered to be the Creator even by this pagan king and valued for this reason.

As far as Nehemiah was concerned, this matter needed to be settled this very day.

God answered and to Him be the Glory, and because God answered, this king gave Nehemiah much more than he asked for!

*****Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.
Neh 2:6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

The truth is we seldom consider and study on what we need in our prayers. I’m not talking about those needs we all have that God supplies without asking.

I’m talking about that special need! Nehemiah had been making plans on what it would take to do these things, he would now ask the king for, but only after he had made his request to the Lord.

A true lesson is that God loves details! God loves for us to consider those things we pray for and then give Him the reasons those things are important to us, and most important we must have the faith that says to God, “I know you have the power to do this thing I’m asking”.

As Preacher Sam said, “God is Able”!

Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

God, in answer to prayer, is ever ready to bestow what is best for us. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.”

This was a silent prayer that Nehemiah prayed between the time he made his request to this king, and the answer he would give.

Another lesson we learn God is always listening. Nehemiah did not have to wait on God to finish what He was doing with someone else!

This shows us the “omnipresence” of the Lord God Jehovah!

Pro 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path

We see that this king had grown affectionate for Nehemiah, not in any kind of sexual way, but as a friend and he wanted to know how long he would be gone.

*****Neh 2:7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
Neh 2:8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Nehemiah knew that if he did not have proof of the things this king had promised, others in the government would deny him of any request because, Nehemiah was still just Jew, but the world forgets the Jews are still the apple in God’s eyes.

Zec_2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

What is the secret of our success as Christians? We must have God with us!

We do not need the machines of this world.

We do not need the methods of this world.

We just need to be obedient to God, so we know our prayers reach into Heaven.

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Psa 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

We just need more God!!!!!!!!

We cannot believe we have the power to do the things such as Nehemiah requested, without God!

What did Jesus say?

Joh_15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Amen

Let’s Pray

Returning To the House of God

The People Return

Book of Ezra Chapters 7-10

We have already seen Ezra but could trace his hereditary all the way back to Aaron the brother of Moses.

He sought the king’s consent to return to Israel.

He was a scribe, a doctor of the Law of God.

Ezra had made sure that copies of the Word of God would be true copies and preserved for all generations.

Ezra had assembled the Old Testament canon up through his day.

But we can be sure it was God who had chosen Ezra for this great mission.

It was time for all those who were willing to go home to Israel and Jerusalem, to leave for the promised land.

Notice God only accepts those who freely choose to be in His family. God will never force anyone to accept Him!

It just makes good sense to be in the family of Jehovah God, Jesus will guide you into His family.

Notice also, it was not the King of Persia who would get the credit for releasing the Jews to go home, it was God who made tender the heart of this King, so these things could take place!

God has a way of getting His will done, regardless of the times and regardless of who sits in power!

God always works through some man to get His will done and this time it was Ezra.

Just as God had chosen Moses and just as God had chosen Joshua, God now chose Ezra.

*****Ezr 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.

The first expedition of Jews to Jerusalem and home was led by Zerubbabel and was now complete, with a dedication to rebuild the Temple.

Ezra would lead the second expedition back home and he desired that Jerusalem could be rebuilt.

Later Nehemiah would lead a third group home with the intent to rebuild the broken-down walls of Jerusalem.

We can be sure each group would meet opposition, much like the opposition that confronts the tiny nation of Israel today.

No one but God Himself wants to see this tiny nation prosper, and they would be well ahead if they would only learn to trust God and be obedient to Him!

Ezra had to get permission to see the King of Persia and make his request.

Aren’t you glad that another gift Jesus Christ gave us, was the gift of answered prayer?

Those who love the Lord can reach into the throne room of our Father in Heaven without asking for His permission. He is ready to hear from His children at all times!

Ezra was a scribe and besides teaching the Word of God, it was Ezra’s job to reproduce accurate copies of the Scriptures.

God did not allow for error from His Scribes!

Many believe Ezra wrote not only the Book of Ezra, but he probably also wrote the two Books of Chronicles and the two Books of Kings.

What did Ezra believe about the Scriptures?

Ezra believed that the Scriptures were not just some human code written by some men.
Ezra did not believe that the Scriptures were just a national treasure of Israel.
Ezra believed the Scriptures were a Divine Gift of God, the Law of the Lord!

Without many questions, King Artaxerxes granted every favor that Ezra asked of him, so we can be sure that God had made the heart of this king to be tender toward the Jews.

How did God give His Words to be written?

Many ways for sure, but one way was giving His words to those who would write it down.

Psa 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: “my tongue is the pen of a ready writer”.

*****Ezr 7:7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.

This Artaxerxes may have been the husband of Esther, but I cannot say that is true.

Since the Temple was nearly complete then not only the children of Israel, but some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the porters and the Nethinims were also a part of these that returned to Jerusalem.

We are familiar with all but the Nethinims.

It is probable that these were at one time captured enemies of Israel, who were allowed to stay in Israel if they worked at the Temple and they volunteered for this duty from then on.

These are probably the same ones who had the foreign names (Ezra 2:43-58).

In reality these people had to obey the laws of Israel and were likely the ones who were water carriers for the Temple and workers of menial task at the Temple.

Today we can associate these people with those of the Church who work behind the scenes of the Church, who without them the Church would not function as it should.

We should understand that the trip from Babylon to Jerusalem was near 900 miles and by God’s favor this trip took only 4 months.

This roadway was infested with thieves and robbers and this road passed through many of the enemies of the Jews!

This group traveling with Ezra numbered at least 50,000 men, women, and children.

The year of this group was 458 BC.

*****Ezr 7:8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
Ezr 7:9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.

We can be sure that Ezra was totally committed to the Lord God of Israel! Ezra was also a precious servant to his people!

If we remember Moses had stood before a King (Pharaoh) and said let my people go and that king had only hardened his heart and he refused and it cost him his life and his oldest son.

Ezra had been bold enough to stand before this Persian king and he just said how can I help you to do this thing!

Ezr 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.
Ezr 8:32 And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.
Ezr 8:33 Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites;
Ezr 8:34 By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.

This group of Jews had traveled this long journey with hardly an incident to be reported, which means the hand of protection of the Lord was with them.

*****Ezr 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Ezra had a great testimony. Ezra had prepared his heart to not only learn the Word of God, but to learn the will of God.

If we do not observe the will of God as written in the Scriptures, we will never know the special will of God for our lives.
,
What is the will of God for every Christian?

1) 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2) Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

3) Rom_12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

4) These things are necessary so that the ultimate will of God will be done in all our lives!

Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

It is the will of God that we be delivered from this present evil world!

None of these things can take place, until we have prepared our heart to seek the law of God!

This thing will never change!

If God said we live in an evil world, then how can we deny what God says?

None of us can be of service to God, until we have prepared our hearts to do so!

Ezra was a captive in a foreign nation, and he needed the permission of that government, not so much for him but to show to anyone who questioned the rebuilding of Jerusalem and Temple, the House of God.

*****Ezr 7:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.
Ezr 7:12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.
Ezr 7:13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

The Holy Spirit decided that this letter was to be preserved so that all the world would know the decree of Artaxerxes, which was similar to those letters from King Cyrus and King Darius, his predecessors.

The first thing we notice is, that every Israelite from every tribe was given the permission to go back to Israel.

We should also notice that Ezra was made to be a representative of the King.

We should even notice that Ezra had certain qualifications. Priest, Scribe, and Scribe of the written Word of God, which would be the cannon of the Bible in that day.

Ezra had the right to encourage all Israelites to go home, but he could not try to force them to leave.

Remember they also had the words of Daniel and of Ezekiel.

Artaxerxes was known as King of kings, because he had so many kings, he had conquered, but he expected them to run the government of those nations according to the laws of Persia and not their own laws.

The difference with Israel was that he gave these Jews the permission to rule according to the Word of God and His laws.

By saying that Jehovah was the God of heaven, He was then God of gods. This king was not a true believer!

This king just chose to believe that Jehovah was the greatest of all gods, but there are no gods, but Jehovah.

It is here that we see that this king was well aware of the ten tribes of Israel that had already been captured by other kings in lands that he now ruled.

It seems that some of those people did go back with Ezra and Israel was to be reunited with all 12 tribes.

We will see this fact when Ezra gets back to Jerusalem and “twelve bullocks for all of Israel” were sacrificed.

Ezr_8:35 Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.

Ezra was sent of the King to rebuild Jerusalem and to complete the Temple which had already been started by Zerubbabel.

*****Ezr 7:14 Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;

Ezra was sent of the king to make sure that all Israelies lived according to the laws of God.

It seems that Ezra had a copy of the Scriptures in his hand this very day.

These Jews did not need this king’s permission nor his commands, because they had already been charge of God to obey all His Word, just as we have here today.

Now do not get me wrong, the commandments and laws given to the Jews and all Israelites, were never given to the Church but we live understanding the same principle of obeying the Word of God.

The Scriptures must always be rightly divided!

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Even though this is true, we must understand that we are to learn from all the Word of God!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

God does not ever change, so the Ten Commandments applies to all people, except the Church is to gather on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and not the Sabbath (Saturday). The Lord Jesus Christ arose on a Sunday, therefore it is the Lord’s Day!

The other 603 laws of God to the Jews do not apply to the Church but many, if not all those laws are to be considered, for reproof, which means, (God points out our errors and we are to correct our ways), for correction which means to the Church to be (Christ like, or Christian), for instruction in righteousness, which means (God has given us the means of living according to “Divine Law”).

We next see that it was Ezra who would be held responsible for the free will offering from the king himself.

*****Ezr 7:15 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,
Ezr 7:16 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:

Now this was not money to rebuild the Temple, King Cyrus had already donated the funds to rebuild the Temple and to pay for the material and the laborers.

Ezr_3:7 They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

This king offered Ezra a military escort, but Ezra had bragged on God so much, that he could not show that God did not have the power to protect not only this silver and gold but also the people who were going home.

To be honest, we should be ashamed for not bragging on God enough!

Ezra was also authorized to ask for free will offerings from all those in Babylon who did not want to leave Babylon at this time.

It can be said that Ezra had found “Grace” in the eyes of the Lord!

So what was this money to be used for?

*****Ezr 7:17 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.
Ezr 7:18 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.

Most of these Laws can be found in Numbers Chapter 15.

Num 15:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 15:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you,
Num 15:3 And will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the LORD, of the herd, or of the flock:

They were returning to the Promised Land once again.

We should also note that any of this money that was left over, Ezra was to use at his own discretion.

History tells us Ezra used all that remained on the Temple. He kept none for himself, a true steward of God’s money.

Once things have been given to the Lord, such as money, then it should be used to promote the Gospel and never for personal use!

*****Ezr 7:19 The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.
Ezr 7:20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the
king’s treasure house.

We know that all the things of the Temple that Nebuchadnezzar had robbed from Solomon’s Temple had been returned to Zerubbabel so these things from the state treasury were not those things.

There is a list of these things:

Ezr 8:25 And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:
Ezr 8:26 I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;
Ezr 8:27 Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.
Ezr 8:28 And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.

Just so we understand, one commentary estimated that one talent of silver would be valued at about 250,000 dollars in today’s market. A talent of gold would be more than 1 million dollars.

These were the free will offerings offered from the King to the God of Jerusalem.

We all know that you cannot buy God’s love so we can only say this Persian King was well aware of the need for the Jewish people to return to be able to worship the God of Heaven in His own House.

In reality this pagan King had no idea that he was doing all these things because it was the will of God that caused these things to happen.

In the day of the third Temple, it will cost this world dearly as God will cause the world to finance the new Temple.

Ezra was an emissary of the King, so he could go to the Kings treasury and get whatever else was needed to build the Temple and restore the worship of these Jews to Jehovah. We can be sure that Ezra took no more than was needed.

The truth is, it will cost this dearly to be on the wrong side of God!

*****Ezr 7:21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
Ezr 7:22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.
Ezr 7:23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
Ezr 7:24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.

This King sent a decree to all his treasurers that whatever Ezra needed to complete this work would be freely given to him.

Every ruler can be used of God to do His will!

Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

It should be obvious that this king did not love Jehovah as he should, but he did have absolute fear the power of God, something most people of today ignore, or just do not believe.

Many of the church think of God only as an old grandfather, looking after His grandchildren but we serve an almighty God who we should have at least some of this same fear.

Php_2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

As we see the Prophets of God were shown some respect in almost every nation, and I believe many nations know all the prophecies of God today.

Some will just make note of them, others will try change those prophecies to their own advantage, but God will have His plan move along as only He can!

Notice that at this time there would be no taxes upon Jerusalem nor any part of Israel.

We can just imagine how these things stirred up the enemies of Israel.

The main thing we notice is, that Ezra was given the right to teach all these Jews the Law of God and not the false gods of this pagan king.

This was something was not normally allowed to conquered nations!

Another thing that Ezra was allowed to do, he was allowed to execute judgment according to the Word of God, with the power of this king behind this order.

Justice would be carried out by Ezra or the Persian government at the request of Ezra.

All the laws of God would be observed, and any local laws would be observed, all according to the Word of God.

*****Ezr 7:25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.
Ezr 7:26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

Notice it was not Zerubbabel the Governor of the land of Judah, but it Ezra who would appointed the Judges and Magistrates.

The Jews would not have to face the magistrates of pagan laws, but only the Laws of God and we know that the Jews not only had the “Ten Commandments” but also a total of 613 commandments given to the Jews in everything they did, in every portion of their lives.

Psa 119:98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
Psa 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
Psa 119:100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
Psa 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
Psa 119:102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
Psa 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psa 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

We should remember all those who came home were those who came of their own free will, they were ready to serve the Lord.

Ezra was blessed.

*****Ezr 7:27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:
Ezr 7:28 And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

Ezra did not bless this pagan king, but he praised the Lord for putting such thoughts in the head of this king.

You see this is an example of the way we should feel!

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

God does not ever put bad thoughts in the heads of rulers, but God can put good thoughts into the mind of any evil man!

Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

So how do all these things relate to the Church?

We must understand, that being a Christian is also being a Temple of God, which is to grow in the “Grace” and “Mercy” of God!

It is our job to lead people to the “Promised Land”. (Heaven) (Only God can forgive their sins)

It is our job to come out from the world and live according to the Word of God, and to introduce all we can to the Messiah, who is the only way to get to Heaven.

That Messiah is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We must acknowledge that we are the ones sent by the Lord and God does still call certain men and women for special work!

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

From the time the second Temple was built, Israel did all they could to remain free from foreign domination and they did until the time of the Romans, just as the Prophet Daniel had said.

Today, those who love the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior are the Temple of God, and God expects to live a holy life in obedience to the Word of God, “rightly divided”, and know it is Jehovah God who sits of the throne and directs this world as He see fit!

The most important thing God does is make sure everyone gets an opportunity to know the truth and the “Gospel” that saves is that “Truth”!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Getting Your Priorities In Order

Reordering Priorities

Book of Haggai

Last week we saw that the 70 -year prophesy of Jeremiah had been true and many of those of Israel in captivity were released by King Cyrus to return home and to rebuild the Temple.

It got off to a great start, but it soon ran out of steam and came to a complete stop, as these people began to think of themselves instead of the House of God.

So God sent the Prophet Haggai with a new message.

This is a great lesson for the Church today.

Sometimes God may seem to silent and it seems prayers go unanswered and we wonder what has happened.

We must understand that 100% of the time it will be because we have moved away from God and not that God has forgotten about us.

God is always listening for us, but God will not answer if we have unconfessed sin. We must confess “all” our sin and repent if we want God to answer our prayers! (Psalms 66:18)

Our lesson today is aimed toward those churches that were one time on fire for God, but have now ceased and are cold or just luke warm.

Our lesson is also aimed at the Christian who was once on fire for God but now have ceased even going to church.

Why does it seem God is silent in America today?

God has been asked to leave!
Many of the Church have rejected the truth of God and allowed the world to dictate what God means when they cannot know the truth!
Many have rejected the Word of God and listen to false science!
Many have forced God to take a back seat to our own personal pursuits!
Many have allowed the government to influence the Church!
Many have just worshiped self and left off to worship God!

So what was the message of Haggai?

*****Hag 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
Hag 1:2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.

According to modern calendars the first message of Haggai came August the 29th of 520 BC.

The first message was aimed at Zerubbabel who was the governor assigned by King Cyrus to be in charge of Judah (a puppet king) and the reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon, which Nebuchadnezzar destroyed.

Zerubbabel was a descendant of the royal line of King David. In the Book of Ezra he is sometimes called by Sheshbazzar, which was his Persian name.

In Haggai we will see Zerubbabel called the “Signet” which means a seal or a signet, which means he had absolute authority in Judah but still a puppet of Persia.

To be honest it is our duty to serve the Lord, just as it was these people of Judah on this day.

These who had return from captivity had decided it was not time to finish the work on the Temple, but it was time for them to do as they pleased.

They had allowed their neighbors to dictate their behavior!

Ezr 4:23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Ezr 4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Shimshai was a trouble maker and these Jews did not question his authority but just went to their homes and left off the building of the Temple.

What does God say?

Pro 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Pro 29:26 Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the LORD.
Pro 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

So God sent His Word by Haggai.

*****Hag 1:3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Hag 1:4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?

God’s people had forgotten that they were God’s people!

We do the same thing today!

They were not to fear those around them. God had said they would go home after 70 years in captivity, and God did not say this just so they would be ruled by Samaria or foolish men harassing God’s people.

One thing we must understand is, God will not do things that we can do ourselves!

God helps us with things that we cannot do ourselves!!!!!!!!!!

God simply said, if it is not time to complete the work on the Temple, then was it time to dwell in their ceiled, houses, houses already secure from the elements?

These people were celebrating in their homes while the House of God still lay in ruins just partially rebuilt.

Nothing much more than the foundation had been laid.

Nothing looks worse than a building that began as a great plan, but now lay in ruins because it could not be completed.

If things were as bad as these people made it out to be, then how could they sit in their homes in safety with no worries?

If we think back to the time of King David, these people were nothing like David at all.

2Sa 7:1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
2Sa 7:2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

The thoughts of David were why the first Temple was built, and these people who had been released from bondage by King Cyrus, who had bragged on the God of creation, were not as obligated to serve the Lord as they should have been.

This is a picture of the Laodicean Church Age of today!

The Lord has reached down and pulled His people out of the miry clay of sin, surely, we have a duty to commit to the work of the Lord.

Today we are the Temple of God and when we are first saved, we are babes in Christ, surely, we feel the duty to grow in Christ!

We should not need anyone to urge us to get closer to God, but thank God for our Pastor, who continues to teach us the truth.

What does the Bible teach us to do?

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We must be building onto our Temple at all times!

It was not time for these Jews of Judah to be sitting around doing nothing when the Temple of God needed so much work to be done.

It is never time for us to stop building onto our temple, which we are.

1Co_6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

We have a duty to be busy working on our own Temple at all times!

The first message of God through Haggai, was aimed directly at Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest.

We must remember when Haggai spoke, he was saying what God told Him to say and to whom God told him to say it to.

Neither of these men could deny that the prophecies of Jeremiah and of Isaiah had been true just as the words of Haggai would be true and not just true “but be the truth”.

*****Hag 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

This something we all should do every day. We need take a look at our Christian life as compared to Jesus Christ and consider our ways!

These people were guilty of selfishness and covetousness.

What does prophecy do?

We could say that prophecy is God in communication with the Church.

We know that God was speaking to these Jews, but we also know that God has the same message for the Church today, and these words of the Old Testament has lessons that we are to learn.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We need to take a close look into our mirror every day to see if we are who we say we are!

These Jews were neglecting the only thing that could save them, when times did get hard!

God did not expect these people to live in tents while the construction of the Temple was going on, but God did expect them to finish the work they had started at the Temple.

Everything they did since returning to their homeland would determine how God would react to them!

Lev 26:2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
Lev 26:3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Lev 26:4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

God had not changed, and He never will!!!!!!!!!!

*****Hag 1:6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

Even though they were now free, this was no way to live. Never enough food and not enough clothes to stay warm.

To live in sin soon becomes a life of misery!

When we get our priorities out of order, things just do not go well for us!

It is a fact that when we forget where our blessings come from, we will not get blessings that we could have had!

God is always standing ready to dump a truck load of blessings out upon us!!!!!!

By not having a place of worship these people were robbing God.

They were robbing God of His worship.
They were robbing God of His truth.
They were robbing God of His tithes.

Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Gathering to worship the Lord is much, much more than these things.

We lose opportunities to learn the Scriptures.
We lose opportunities to carry our burdens to the Lord.
We lose opportunities to fellowship with each other and pray with one another and for one another.
And most important we lose opportunities to fellowship with the Lord.

Remember the power of the Church lies in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit abides in each of us.

These Jews were more interested in gaining riches for themselves, but those riches were as if they had their money in a bag and that bag had a hole in it, those riches were being lost.

Job 20:28 The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God

Though drugs have become more popular with the lost, still the over powering enemy of the working class is alcoholic beverages.

Pro 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Pro 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Pro 23:34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
Pro 23:35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

No matter who we are, we need to consider the things we do and how those things affect our lives.

*****Hag 1:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

These Jews had received the command of God to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. They had started off with the right attitude, but now it had been 16 years since they had last worked on the Temple.

The materials were on the job site!

They knew the will of God!

They were lacking in commitment!

We must understand to receive the blessings of God, we must be a blessing to God!

God really only asks us to do one thing and that is to obey Him!

If God has saved us it is our duty to be obedient to Him!

Psa 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
Psa 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

Before we can ever be glorified, we must glorify the Lord in what we have now, and it is not to hard nor is it asking too much of us!

*****Hag 1:8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
We must understand that what pleases God is when we are at work to grow His Kingdom, and also to work and support our families.

These are not two separate things these are one thing that we do for the glory of God!!!!!!

We cannot do this thing if we are not obedient to God.

The Jews were free and living in hardship simply because they left off to do what the Lord God had asked them to do.

It was the Temple that would hold this people together for several centuries to come.

God loves to see His people busy!

We know that the Lord never changes, so it is obvious when the house of God lies in waste, as many do today, then God will not be very pleased.

It does not matter so much what the world is doing, as it matters what the people of God are doing!

Remember Haggai is addressing these things to Zerubbabel the Governor and Joshua the High Priest.

If the government and the Church did not solve this issue, then their freedom did not mean anything!

In America today, the government, through taxpayers, does nothing but feed those who are too lazy to work, while the Church sits on its hands and does nothing to curb sin, not only in our nation, but even allow it inside the church.

A lazy church is a useless church!!!!!

Now, Muslims are elected in to the government along with every liberal minded kook that comes out of the closet.

Freedom is not on the top of the list of the things we need in America today!!!!!

The people who truly needed help were the same ones who did not get the help they needed because they had become lazy and useless to the Lord God.

The Church needs to get back to the business of being obedient to what “Thus Sayeth the Lord” and work for the glory of God, and many of the problems we face as a nation would go away.

The forest around Jerusalem had not been touched in 70 years and much of the material that was needed was already on the Temple Mount. It was time to get busy about the work of the Lord!

We must keep our priorities in order!

Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

When these people had left captivity, they had expected everything to be so wonderful.

They needed to be awakened to the fact they lived in a cruel and evil world just as we do today, and we need the Lords help in everything we do, but if we refuse to glorify God in the things we do, that help will never come when we need it the most!!!!!

*****Hag 1:9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
Hag 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.

When we forget that the Lord is in control of our environment, and everything else, and start placing the blame on things such as global warming, or any other dreamed up thing we are on our way to more misery.

Look around at what is going on in our world and you can see that God has withdrawn His hand of mercy!!!!!

All the things that assured a good life was lacking, because these people had neglected the God who had caused them to be set free.

When we allow the house of God to lie in waste, we can be sure our own homes will go to waste.

When we expect too much from others, and do not give back to our God in our time and our tithes, our nation will lie in waste.

We are foolish to ask why our government is like it is, when we reject the God who places the right people in the right positions.

We have the freedom to vote and more than a 100 million stay home and forget how important this freed is!!!!!!

When God does place someone in position who has faith in God, and we do not do everything we can to help them, we are just digging a hole so deep that we will never come out of it.

This could be said of our President today.

When we look for much and it comes to little, we can only blame ourselves.
When we bring that little home and even it blows away, we can only blame ourselves.
When we neglect God and the House of God, we cannot expect to receive the blessings of God!

Isa 17:10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
Isa 17:11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

Why is America suffering? It has nothing to do with global warming silly people, it because the Lord thy God has control of the heavens and the earth.

You see, God proves by facts, that it is He that sits on the throne in Heaven and He will deny these things sometimes, and in some places, to show us we are not being obedient to His Words. The only ones who know His words are those who are the true Christian.

God can blow away wages just as well as He can blow away our necessities, when we are suffering and do not know why.

Sometimes we just need to sit down and meditate to see why we are suffering so much in this world!

The biggest reason we all suffer so much, is because we have not obeyed the Word of God!

God does not play favorites, He has the same love for each of us and the same discipline for disobedience!

As Haggai confronts Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest, we can see that God was laying the blame on the government and the Church.

They had not led the people in the right direction, and it was the people who suffered the most, while these two and many others lived in their fine homes and lavish lifestyle.

These things never change, God will hold every government accountable for the suffering of the people and the Church for allowing the government to go without Church leadership.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

When we get our priorities out of wack, there is only one place to go and that is to the Lord God Jehovah.

We know Him as Jesus Christ!

During this time when the rebuilding of the Temple had stopped for 16 years or more, God had to do some things for this people to take notice.

*****Hag 1:11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

God sees the labor of our hands and if our hands are not Holy hands, then the things we do with those hands, will not be Holy.

There is no way the work that comes by our hands will prosper, without using them part of the time for the Lord and being committed to Him 100% of the time!!!!!

If the labor on the Temple had not ceased, God would never have brought a drought upon this people. It is just that simple!

A great lesson for the Church is, as long as the House of God lies in waste, God will not bless the labor of Church hands in America.

Gen 31:42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.

The Lord will only bless the work of our hands when our priorities are in the right order!

When our own interest comes before the work of God, God will see, and God will not allow those interest to be fruitful.

What has God warned the Church?

1Pe_4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The Church needs to wake up to these warnings and get her priorities right!!!!!

When we do not heed the warnings of God, we are placing ourselves and our families in jeopardy!

What many see as climate change may be just God telling us we need to get back to the truth of God!

Or, could it be close to the time when the Antichrist will stick his evil head into the world and claim to be the Savior.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

If there is not a great falling away today, then explain why so many churches have closed their doors and many of the rest have become lazy in the work of God!

There is always the spirit of the Anti-Christ in our world.

1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

These that had returned to Judah with a priority to build the Temple were facing an economic catastrophe and it was of their own doing!

The question we should ask is, when will we ever learn from our mistakes?

You there is a reason that our history is not being taught in our schools, our youth will never know of all the mistakes that have made that our nation has learned and have made us the great nation that we had become but today are going backwards!

These Jew quickly understood.

*****Hag 1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.

We must understand that the Word of God in the mouth of God’s servants, will have no effect until God’s “authority” is realized and “acknowledged”!

What is wrong in America today? We have forgotten that Jehovah God is the King who sits on the throne in Heaven!!!!!

We must look at the message of the Lord, and see that God does not ever change!

God loves His people. God teaches us these things so we can remove all doubt of His sovereignty not just over the people but also all of nature!

1) God will always act to protect the integrity of His Holy Name!!!!!

Mal 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

2) God will always act to correct His people of their sinful ways:

Deu 11:10 For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:
Deu 11:11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:
Deu 11:12 A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.
Deu 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 11:14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
Deu 11:15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

3) God is the God of second chance: (praise the Lord)

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The truth is God will discipline, God will correct, and God will train, the ones He loves, and He shows us how He does things in the Word of God.

We already have the instruction manual. It’s called the Bible!!!!

We are to learn from these mistakes made by these, God’s chosen people, and through this day, Israel remains the apple of God’s eye!

The Church is still God’s redeemed and the Bride of Christ!

We must understand that God dealt with nations during this era, but today God deals with individuals.

When our priorities are not right, then we can expect the same or very similar things from our Creator, the true Ruler of all we see, and all we cannot see!

Pro 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Pro 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Pro 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Pro 3:14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

We can expect our Father in Heaven to do whatever it takes to keep us as His children, who He loves us more than we can understand!

When the Lord speaks to us by the Holy Spirit, it is in our best interest to listen to what He says and be obedient to what He teaches us!

Amen

Let’s Pray!