Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ezra

Ezra is the fifteenth book in the Old Testament of the Bible, and it has had a very powerful impact on me. What I am about to share with you may be completely wrong (and if so, please correct me!), but this is what I came to understand from reading Ezra.

This book has been dated 440 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. These particular Jews were living in the land of Persia at this time during the kingdom of Cyrus. King Cyrus was moved by the God of Abraham to allow these tribes to return home to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the House of God.

From here on in, you could write it as if it were happening today. They did not steal this land, for there were some Jewish people already living there. These people had been enslaved throughout the time before they returned by the mercy of God. Their neighbors hated them. When the king died, his son, Xerxes, became king. Not much is said about him, however.

Xerxes did not keep his father's charge. Some neighbors had complained to him with lies and deceit in their hearts. They wrote a letter demanding the stoppage of this rebuilding of the Temple, and it was granted.

Then when Xerxes' son, Artaxerxes, become king, another letter was sent by a governor from the area. He demanded they be stopped, for the Jews had waited long enough and had started to rebuild. Artaxerxes did very much research upon this request from the neighbors in the area to destroy, only to discover that this was indeed the land of the Jewish people! He okayed the restarting of the building of the Temple, for they were ordered to stop after the foundation had been layed.

But their neighbors still hated them. The Jews had vowed to be faithful to God, to remain pure and holy, and they abided by what they were told to do. EXCEPT...they were found to be in sin. They turned away from God. Does this sound familiar? Only this time, they repented and were forgiven by God.

So why does it sound like today? The Jewish people, along with others, were enslaved, tortured, experimented on and murdered in WWII. They were allowed to return home to their ancestors after this horrendous war. Mind you, many Jewish people had stayed behind, so it was not as if they had no place there. This also occurs all throughout the Old Testament. The only difference is the dates.

That is because the Left has infiltrated Israel as well. Then and now. As they were to remain obedient to God then, they have become quite secular now. All throughout the history of the Old Testament, disobedience brings separation from God.

Just so anyone starts to think, 'Ah ha! Those disobedient Jews!', I beg of you to look in the mirror first. We are ALL disobedient. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.

This moved me in this way. Look at Iran now. When Cyrus was alive, King of Persia (Iran), they were permitted not only to live, but to go home. Then when he died, the neighbors wanted to destroy the Jewish people. Two thousand four hundred fifty-one years later, nothing has changed. People are still blinded to this fact, because they have decided they know much more than any God could possibly know. My only question to them is this: 'If this were so, how come you haven't created a world where there is no global warming, no poverty, no crime, no heartache, no tears or fears?'

I do know of such a place, and it is glorious. It is beyond my imagination, and a room is being prepared for me. My LORD has said so. He can also make one for you, if you would only open your heart to the possibility...

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