In these days, I was studying about Ezra, Nehemiah… these books display the return of the Exiles and rebuilding the Wall of Israel.
The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah are two parts of the same story. They tell us about the time when the *Jews returned from Babylonia to their own country called *Judah. Babylonia was about 4 months’ walk east from *Judah. The *Babylonians had defeated the people in *Judah. The *Babylonians had forced most of the *Jews to go to Babylonia and to live there. After many years, the *Persians defeated the *Babylonians. Then Cyrus, the king of Persia, allowed the *Jews to return to *Judah.
The Book of Ezra is the first part. It tells us about the first two groups of *Jews who returned to *Judah. The first group returned about 70 years after the *Babylonians had taken the *Jews into *exile. The book also explains how the *Jews built their *temple again. Then, many years later, a man called Ezra helped the *Jews. He helped them to know God’s commands and to obey them.
The book of Nehemiah is the second part. It tells the story of a man whose name was Nehemiah. He was a very important official who worked for the king of Persia. God sent Nehemiah to *Judah in order to do a special task. Nehemiah would help the *Jews to build the walls round Jerusalem again. He arrived in *Judah about 13 years after Ezra went there. The king appointed Nehemiah to be the ruler of *Judah. Nehemiah, like Ezra, helped the *Jews to obey God’s commands.
What I learned from these books
“While the reading and studying these books, I was taught about the God’s sovereignty and the urging to rebuild again my spiritual temple, with His mercy and forgiveness. “
Just want to show here the relation between: Physical temple and Spiritual temple
1 Cor 3:16-17(NIV) Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
God, through His Word, says that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit!
If God says that you are something then:
1. You ARE what He says you are. and…
2. You should want to KNOW what you are!
(the image which I collected from bible study web)
The first is a diagram of the tabernacle (temple) that the lord gave Moses detailed instructions how to build. The reason the plans were so detailed, was that Moses was to build an earthly representation of the real temple in heaven.
The second diagram is of the tabernacle (or structure) of man (the Temple of the Holy Spirit). Notice the remarkable analogy between the two.
Now I go back to my learning points
The first six chapters of Ezra, which I read last week, recount the first return under Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. Chapters 7-10 give the account of the second return, led by Ezra in 458 B.C. The Jews’ return from exile in Babylon is presented as a second Exodus and the primary theological message of the book is that God is faithful to His covenant promises. God orchestrated the exile into Babylon and God has orchestrated the return from exile. God displays His sovereignty by using a pagan king (Cyrus) to deliver His people and return them to the Promised Land. Amazingly, God had foretold this deliverance over a hundred years earlier through the prophet Isaiah when He declared that Cyrus should command the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple (Is. 44:28).
Even the pagan nations around Jerusalem recognized that God must be causing the work to be done for it was not possible though man alone. The rebuilding of the walls was a physical means to a spiritual end. They were intended to bring allegiance back to Him, a reminder to all of His Sovereignty.
How do I recognize the work of God in my life? Is it in the form of a crumbling life that am I encouraged to rebuild through faith? Is it returning lies and misdeeds with truth and love because it’s how God commands us to deal with our enemies?
I knew that God was ultimately in charge. I have to acknowledge His sovereignty, His wisdom, and His great love. I’m so thankful and believe that it’s the call for me to rebuild again my spiritual temple for Him as He is allowing me to do it, forgive all my mistakes, my sins..
- Confessing, worshipping and praying to God is the best way to do
Nehemiah 9 talked about Israel Confesses Their Sins
- An assembly of humble repentance: V.1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads.
- An assembly to separate themselves: V.2 Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
The apostle Paul also nailed this down in Romans 2:4. “Or, do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” It is our deeply held belief in God’s goodness that makes our sin hurt so much. To whatever extent we appreciate God’s goodness, to that extent our sin leads to shame and confession (see Ezra 9:6). The reason for all genuine repentance and confession is, the personal, all-powerful, perfectly good God who loves us. He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance,” and so He sent His Son that we might have a good life and an even better eternity.
I want a explicit and honest view of the guilt of my sin . . . I desire greater discipline to prevent sin . . .
Spend more time getting acquainted with God and mediate more on His goodness and mercy. Pray for wisdom and strength and let not one sin go without full confession and repentance. The goodness of God, well considered, is the key here.
1 John 1:9 tell us “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- An assembly to hear God’s Word and to worship Him: V.3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.
I begin the Christian life through repentance and faith (Acts 11:18; 16:31). If I have not repented of our sins, I have not truly believed in Jesus Christ in a saving way. Colossians 2:6 instructs us, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” Since I received Him through repentance and faith, I should walk in repentance and faith. Ongoing repentance should mark believers in Christ.
Again, it is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating him to scrutinize himself. For we always seem to ourselves righteous and upright and wise and holy—this pride is innate in all of us—unless by clear proofs we stand convinced of our own unrighteousness, foulness, folly, and impurity. Moreover, we are not thus convinced if we look merely to ourselves and not also to the Lord, who is the sole standard by which this judgment must be measured. (John Calvin)
Work my way through Nehemiah 9 and see as in a mirror my own heart. God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt through His mighty power. But as soon as they encountered trials in the wilderness, they wanted to go back to Egypt. Even so, even though I have experienced God’s salvation, I’m all-prone when I encounter hardship to think, “If this is how God treats me, forget it! I was better off when I was in the world.”
The chapter goes on to describe the abundant blessings that God provided for His people. But in spite of all of His goodness, “they became disobedient and rebelled against God, and cast law behind their backs and killed prophets who had admonished them” (9:26). So God delivered them over to oppressors. When they cried out to Him, He mercifully delivered them, only for them again to do evil. This cycle was repeated many times (9:27-30). Again, read it and see my own heart in the mirror. In spite of God’s repeated and abundant compassion on me, the sinner, I am so prone to lust after the things of the world rather than to be satisfied with the supreme blessing of God Himself.
Ongoing repentance takes sin seriously and takes the necessary steps to break from it. True repentance accepts responsibility for sin and does not blame God. As they prayed (9:33), “You are just in all that has come upon us; for You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.”
Finally, I want to remember these two things
- GOD’S ABUNDANT MERCY IS PRIMARILY SO THAT HE WILL BE GLORIFIED AND ONLY SECONDARILY FOR OUR BENEFIT.
- GOD’S ABUNDANT MERCY DOES NOT COME TO US THROUGH ANYTHING IN US, BUT THROUGH HIS FREE GRACE IN CHRIST.
And the journey has just begun again for me to be with Him and love Him everyday
By the way, while I was writing this post, my prayer is answered. I have just received the offer from the company I had followed for last few months. The one I wish to work for as the environment, development chance, good benefit…. Exactly and even more than what I have asked my Father when I start the journey to find a new job. I still praise Him whatever happens, and with this thing I want to praise Him more and more because His love His faithfulness, His generous and patient for me.
(Studied and collected from bible org and commentaries)