Posts

Showing posts from February, 2017

Disappointment with God

What is the use of setting aside time to read the Bible and pray?  Is there really any benefit to it? How long can I continue to endure the struggle in my broken relationship with my spouse, employer, son or daughter, etc.?  It will never get better. What’s the use of my participation in church, and why should I give ten percent of my income to the church? We all ask ourselves some form of these questions at one point or another. These questions are rooted in spiritual issues and have answers rooted in the Scriptural doctrine. We live in an age that brings these questions to the surface.  The idea that there are no absolutes dominates the philosophy of our day.  This basic philosophy plays into our desire to do whatever we want, and our natural tendency to doubt.  While the age tends to bring these questions to the surface, the issue is one of the heart and these questions reflect disillusionment with God.  We all face times of disappointment with God. Malachi

God's Word

Image
Babylon deported God’s people, and held them captive for 70 years.  Then the Persians took over and God’s people were ruled by yet another wicked nation.  The Babylonian and Persian empires spread idol worship, avarice and debauchery wherever they went.  These Empires influenced God’s people as God’s people lived among godless,  idolatrous peoples. God called Ezra and Nehemiah to a unique role in rebuilding the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people.  Ezra and Nehemiah were faced with leading a people that were influenced by the cultures of the Babylonians, the Persians and the peoples living around them.  Their compromise with these cultures is seen in their intercultural marriages. Let me be clear.  Intercultural marriage is not the issue.  The issue is the compromise with or the acceptance of a culture and/or worldview that is entirely hostile to the God of Israel and His word.  Racism of any kind has no room in the service of the God who made all peoples.  Howeve

The Enemy's Schemes

Nehemiah 6 [i] Nehemiah was uniquely positioned.  He was the right person at the right time in the right position. This is true of many of the heroes of the Bible. Moses, Joshua, Debora, Samson, Ruth, David, Elijah and Esther all can be described in the same way. These people all share a common theme.  They each served a history-shaping purpose in God’s plan for His people. For Nehemiah, his history-shaping purpose was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, as well as leading in the spiritual reformation of God’s people at that particular time in their history. Not one of the people mentioned above operated alone.  Many, many people helped, advised, supported and strengthened them in their calling.  The leaders are the names we know, but others had a part. You and I may not be Bible heroes, but God calls each of us for His purposes.  We almost never have any idea of the history-shaping nature of the work God calls us to.  You or I may not be the one whose names

The Prayer the Lord Hears

Nehemiah 1 [i] Jerusalem lay in ruins for 70 years. Nebuchadnezzar and his army tore down the walls, burned the houses, destroyed the temple, and those they did not kill, they took captive to Babylon. Then Cyrus issued a decree, and fifty thousand Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Fifty thousand is a small number compared to the people and nations already occupying the territory to which the Jews returned. In spite of opposition, the temple was rebuilt, being completed on March 21, 516 B.C. [ii] The time from 538 B.C. to 516 B.C. represents 22 years during which the Jews labored in the rebuilding of the temple. Nehemiah 1:1 dates itself as being in the 20 th year of King Artaxerxes’ reign.  This puts the events of Nehemiah 1 at 446 B.C.  This means another 70 years have passed since the end of the Jewish Exile. Nehemiah works for the King.  He is the King’s cupbearer.  (Nehemiah 1:11) The cupbearer was a high-ranking official.