Vol.5, No. 38 – October 4, 2020
Memories dawning — Ezra 7:1
Now after this, in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia [Ezra lived]. –Ezra 7:1
I do not know how you get your news. I used to get a paper; however, I changed that several years ago. Then there was the TV – we do not do TV any more. I have a smart (iPhone), but sometimes it is not very smart – it is dumb. So . . . now I go to the internet from my laptop in my study spot. It commands a space on my desk.
I get to read, on the internet, people opining about the latest crisis – some actual, many just made up. The reporting is most often eisegetic – just opinion, or it only contains what the writer wants people to read. The internet becomes a channel for political view and political correctness; the network you are looking at controls what you get. It stinks.
Maybe I should spend more time with my friends; they always seem to have a “correct” angle to what is going on! J As usual, I also have a Bible on my desk (I actually have a number of Bible versions on my bookshelf, and in Logos, my computer study software program as well).
I just finished a fast trip through 2 Chronicles. The next book in my Bible is Ezra. I have been there before, but I never seem to get finished with it.
In 538 B.C., 2558 years ago, Ezra and his best bud, Nehemiah, were planning a trip. They were going to travel 900 miles to their home in Jerusalem. Socrates was beginning to burn his light in Greece; the Buddha was building his following in India (although I do not know how a roly-poly statue could build much of anything significant). Confucius was confusing people doing his thing in China, and Daniel was the top man in Babylon for King Artaxerxes. Now you have the world news of 538 B.C.
The book of Ezra tells more about the pioneers who came back from exile to Jerusalem that it tells about Ezra himself. The history of the pioneers is like the landing of our own Pilgrim Fathers, Puritans, and nominal Baptists; landing on a bleak and hostile shore.
In Ezra, the pioneers came in timid, struggling relays, back to Jerusalem. It was a death to make way for a rebirth. God gave them a foothold, for it was His city, and it is His city, still today. –Derek Kidner
We live in a man’s world, so we sometimes think (I know many women that the statement would not settle with—they would really object). Did you know? Jerusalem might never have been rebuilt, if Esther had not married the King of Persia (Iran). Between chapters six and seven, there is a time lapse (you know what those are, if you do not you will, it comes with our maturity). In that lapse of fifty-eight years, three world battles were fought:
Did you know? God has plans and carries them out! For us, those plans seem to be delayed; however, God never abandons His plan, He faithfully does what He says He will do. His timing is always correct. He never forgets what He says.
Thus, we begin our two-month travel through the memoirs of Ezra
The history of our lives is significant. History leads us. In view of our history, we make decisions, raise families, go to work, join churches, retire, get a Medicare card, and prepay our funerals. Somewhere along the way, we are introduced to Almighty God. We have to decide what we are going to do with Him.
God has plans for us; however, we are not always ready listeners. We saw in 2 Chronicles that God certainly had plans for His people; however, many of the kings had Silly Putty for their brains, and Pet Rocks for their hearts. [If you do not know what Pet Rocks are, Google it, it is fascinating.]
The Bible reminds, teaches, and expects us to follow God’s instructions. What a legacy we leave for others, including our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren when we follow after God.
How important are the memories of what God says to us?
For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me, and come and pray to Me, with all your heart, and I will be found by you. –Jeremiah 29:11-14
Handling effectively the problems that life brings!