8Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. 9He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. 10For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. (Ezra 7:8-10)
The next three books in the Old Testament chronicle the return of the Jewish people to Israel to begin building the second temple. There are not a lot of great, inspiring verses to pull from these books. I went ahead and read through Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, and struggled to pull any wall decorative worthy quotes from them. But what is important is the historical references that are included in all three of these books. Ezra includes a series of letters back and forth between King Cyrus and King Artaxerxes, two of Persia’s greatest leaders. These kings allow the return of the Jewish to their homeland. Simple GOOGLE searches can open up a world of amazing research and reading, which is what I love about these three books. And it is an amazing prelude to an epic time in our modern history, which was the rebirth of the Israel nation after World War II. It is incredible that we are 73 years from the third founding of the Israel nation in humanities history. There are generations living among us that eye-witnessed a powerful point of the story of creation, the story we are all living and part of. So the same importance of Ezra returning to Jerusalem happened within our recent history as prophets of our time returned to Israel with the modern founding of the Israel nation in 1948. We all know that the next big event is the one the whole world is waiting for and that is the return of the one true King, Jesus Christ. I can not wait for that day and I do hope it happens within my lifetime. If you are not anxiously awaiting the return of Jesus, you might want to ask yourself why not. Because only with His return will we see an end to all things evil, every wrong made right, and find true peace in eternity.
While I may be struggling to find inspirational verses from the Old Testament, the anointed one, Pastor Steven Furtick has no problem. This past weekend he preached ANOTHER AMAZING, INSPIRING, LIFE CHANGING message about returning to Bethel and building your altar, which I am sharing below.
I also want to share the latest episode from the Holy Post because I really enjoy this great podcast. I believe it is very insightful and I am proud to say, since I have started listening to them, my views line up pretty much right with theirs on many of the issues they discuss every week. And I find Phil and Skye pretty funny.
And lastly, I want to share another great song from Old Church Basement. This is the final song off the album and includes some incredible praise. Tomorrow I will be sharing my favorite off the album, but for today enjoy this anthem: Build Your Church.
Reading plan: Acts 4
Deeper reading plan: Ezra 7, 8