Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ezra and Nehemiah

Ezra 7 through Esther 4
Ezra is about the command of King of Persia, Cyrus who commanded the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.  Ezra and Zerubbabel were used of God with willing workers to began the work and see it through.  But Cyrus passed away, and the opposition mounted.  The work even ended for a time, but God's people would not be stopped.  In chapter 5, the question is asked over and over, "who commanded you to build this house?"  The people against the Israelites wrote letters to the King of Persia saying these people are rebelling against the kingdom.  Darius was the king and was asked to make a search whether or not Cyrus ever gave such a command.  Many years had passed, but a search was made and sure enough the commandment was found and Darius even commanded that the opposition be taxed to fund the work!  In Ezra 8:23, it says "So we fasted and besought our God for this:  and he was entreated of us."  God listened to the fasting and praying of His people.... and He still does!!    The rest of the book of Ezra describes the need of repentance of God's people after the temple was built.  This is our constant need... to stay humble and ask for God's forgiveness and guidance. 
Nehemiah is about the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem.  God spoke to a laymen to go to Jerusalem and build the walls that had been destroyed over 100 years earlier.  Opposition abounded, but God blessed and every obstacle was overcome.  In 52 days, Nehemiah had rebuilt the walls.  Something that had not happened for over 100 years!!  Nehemiah had this belief:  "The God of Heaven, He will prosper us!"  We too need this same confidence!  God will take care of us as we look to Him.  Nehemiah is one of my very favorite books of the Bible.  It is full of leadership principles, faith principles, determination, ect.  It is an amazing book.  "I am doing a great work".  This is how he felt about the work God had called him to do.  We need the same confidence!!  After the walls were built, Nehemiah had the priest read the book of the law of God distinctly and caused them to understand the reading.  Preaching with explaining the Words of God is still needed today.  I hope I'm that type of preacher.  Well, tomorrow we will talk about Esther and Job.   May God bless!!   Pastor Mike Mutchler

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Chronicles and Ezra

In reading II Chron. 24 through Ezra 6, here are a few insights:  II Chron. 26:5, says of Uzziah:  "and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper."  If we seek God, He will bless us.  God desired to be a blessing to us but He desires us to seek His face.  Uzziah did this "until he was strong".  It's amazing that in desperate times, we seek the LORD, but when He blesses us, we often stray from the very source of blessing... the LORD!!  Let us purpose in our spirit not to do so.
In II Chron. 28:22, it says of Ahaz:  "And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD:"  Here we see that he was distressed, but didn't learn any lessons!!  How sad it is that things go horribly wrong in our lives and it doesn't humble us or teach us the lessons God has for us to learn.  We certainly need to learn the lessons of humility and staying upon God.  Don't let adversity come into your life, and you and I not be bettered by it.  Dr. Jack Trieber says:  "Don't become Bitter, become Better!" 
In II Chron. 29: 27, "the song of the LORD began".  When this happened God gave the victory.  Hezekiah was greatly outnumbered, but God gave the victory when the people of Israel began to sing unto the Lord.  We ought to sing out in faith knowing the Lord is honored by our faith. 
Ezra is an amazing book of God commanding a heathen King to rebuild the temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians.  Cyrus was the king of the Persians.  The Persian empire was one of the world's greatest ever!!  In chapter one, verse 2, Cyrus made a proclamation throughout his kingdom:  "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth;"  This is how powerful he was and it was true, the Lord had given him all of the kingdoms of the earth, but then it goes on to say: "and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."  This heathen king was charged by God to have the house of God built in Jerusalem.  This is what the book of Ezra is all about.  It is an inspiring story of God's grace and guidance.  Zerubbabel is the man who rebuilt the temple and Ezra is the priest who restored worship in the house of God.  Hope this helps you understand it more.  I will have another lesson soon for you.  May God bless!!   Dr. Mike Mutchler, Pastor.

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II Chronicles

I am catching up some today, but I want to show you some things I've been reading and the thoughts that I have about these chapters.  I have my Bible divided up into days.  I mean by that at the end of every 20 chapters or so I have a number.  I have divided up my Bible into 60 days so that every two months I read my Bible through.

On day 19, I read II Chron. 3 through II Chron. 23.  I love this... In I Chron. 3: 17, we have the pillars named.  These were the pillars at the entrance of Solomon's temple.  They were named:  Jachin, and Boaz.  Jachin means "He Shall Establish", and Boaz means "In It Is Strength".  As they were passing through to get into the temple, they were confronted with these two great pillars of brass.  They reminded them of the fact that as they went into the temple, they would be established in the house of God and they would find strength in the house of God.  I know this is the same about church.  In the church you will be established in the Word of God and you will be strengthened by God's Word and the working of the Holy Spirit in your life.  One day I hope to put these names on the pillars outside of our church. 
II Chron. 12 we see that Shishak, king of Egypt went to war with Rehoboam, king of Judah.  Rehoboam was a wicked king and thus the judgment of God came upon him.  Chapter 12 is a lesson about humility.  Verse six said that the king "humbled" himself and  verse 13 says, the people "humbled themselves" and verse 12 says "and when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him."  Here is the lesson... God listens when even a wicked man will humble himself in the sight of the Lord.  "A broken and contrite heart, O Lord, thou wilt not despise."  Walk humbly before God and He will bless you. 
II Chron. 14:11- King ASA cried out for God's help.  He was confronted with a million man army from Ethiopia and needed God's help.  He prays and says:  "Lord, it is nothing with thee to help , whether with many, or with them that have no power:"  He acknowledged that his faith was in God not man, even in trying circumstances.  I hope that we will place our faith in the LORD, no matter what we come up against in life.  Well, these are lessons for today's reading.  May God richly bless!!  Pastor Mike Mutchler

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Catching UP

You might have noticed that I've been behind in the blogs.  I have been in a conference at Pastor's School in Hammond, IN.  It was great, but I left the hotel at 6:30 each morning and we got back around 11:00pm each night and I didn't have time to write the blog.  I did however have time to read my Bible and Pray, but I will catch up and let you know what I read each morning.  Now, I'm off to a Saturday Prayer meeting but later, I will start catching up and I hope you will enjoy reading about the 80 chapters I finished but have not written about.  It is great reading and God has so many different truths so I just try to select a few.  Next time I go through that same passage, I will select some other truths.  Hope you are enjoying my little running commentary of the Holy Scriptures.  Tomorrow is Easter, this event, is what changed history, and my eternity!!  Praise God for Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.     Pastor Mike Mutchler

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