I love God’s creativity! Every snowflake is unique, every leaf on every plant is different. And I love how He uses the differences in our personalities, passions and gifts to accomplish His will uniquely through us.
I’ve been reading in Ezra and am just starting Nehemiah. I’m drawn to the histories of the bible. I love the stories and the people. This time around reading these books I found some fascinating stuff.
First of all, did you realize there was about 100 years between the beginning of Ezra and the end? The first guy to travel back to Jerusalem after the captivity was Zerubbabel, and he took a whole bunch of Israelites with him. Then, about 100 years later, Ezra leads another group of folks back. And soon after that, Nehemiah returns with an entourage from the king.
Each of these men returned under different circumstances, each with a different purpose, each with a heart for the glory of God and for His city.
Zerubbabel returned because King Cyrus was an opportunity giver. He gave great liberty to the peoples he conquered to be able to live in their countries and worship according to their customs. So, he TOLD the Israelites they could return to rebuild the temple. And not just that, He GAVE them back all the articles of the temple to take with them. Now, this was a LOT of wealth…gold and silver galore! Zerubbabel took what the king offered and took refuge under the king’s protection – because his enemies abounded!
Many years later, there was a scribe, a descendant of Aaron the high priest, with a heart to restore the teachings of the Law. This man, Ezra, also went with permission from the king (a different king) to take back the Levites and priests and restore the worship in the temple that was rebuilt. Ezra was a bit different than his predecessor. He bragged BIG TIME on God and His power and might and how He would protect His children. So when Ezra encountered problems, he didn’t appeal to the king for protection.
For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty. Ezra 8:22-23
And then we come to Nehemiah. His heart was heavy because the wall of the city was still in ruins. Now, he was a cupbearer to the King. He was the one who was responsible to make sure the wine wasn’t poisoned. When you have this place of responsibility and come into the king’s presence with a sad countenance, it could result in your death (since it could be signs of a plot against the king). But, as had been done before, the Lord opened the king’s heart in favor of Nehemiah. They discussed it and Nehemiah asked forbearance to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall of the city. And he went with officers and horsemen of the king.
Three men, three different stories, one mission. To glorify God and restore His temple and city.
- With Zerubbabel the people both wept and shouted with the completion of the temple. The elders wept because of the former glory of Solomon’s temple, the young folk shouted at the building of the new temple.
- With Ezra, he saw the people had compromised and married foreign women and he tore his robe and plucked his beard.
- With Nehemiah, he also saw the people marrying foreign women and their children forsaking their own language and he slapped the men and plucked out THEIR beards (I always identify with Nehemiah ).
We don’t have to be cookie cutter Christians. We can follow our passion from God according to our unique design by Him. And He will be glorified and delighted in our hearts to love, honor and serve Him.
Blogs I might be linking to:
Menu Planning Monday, On The Menu Monday, Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine,Playdates at the Well, Back to School Monday, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Funky Planet Frequent Flier Club, Encourage One Another, Living Well Wednesdays,Legacy Leaver Thursday, What’s Up Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Thankful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows Thursdays, Thought Provoking Thursday, First Day of My Life Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Home Focused Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end