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Drinking Living Water-Day 18 April 3, 2011

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.

Drinking Living Water from a Fire Hose- Day 18: II Chronicles 24- Ezra 10, Psalm 86-89, Proverbs 18, Romans 9-16

II Chronicles 24-Joash was 7 when crowned, a good king while under Jehoiada. A bad king after he died and Joash started taking advice from some from Judah. He had started collecting money to rebuild the temple and initiated its’ repair. Zechariah the prophet said he was headed for trouble, but because they didn’t like what he had to say, they stoned him to death. And this was Jehoiada’s own son. Arameans attacked and took treasure and killed the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. Because Joash and the people had forsaken God, he did the same for them. Arameans wounded Joash in the battle and when they left, Zabad and Jehozabad finished the job. Gee, “who’s (a) bad?” (sorry, MJ)
25 Amaziah was a half-hearted servant of God (v2). Amaziah mustered troops from his own kingdom and also hired some Ephraimites at a significant cost. A “man of God” told him they would fail, so he fired the Ephraimites (with pay) and sent them packing, and they were angry. Wow. If I were a soldier and they paid me and sent me home without risking my neck, I’d feel pretty happy about that. Amaziah then raided Edom and took their idols back with him. And set them up as his own idols? Like they protected Edom so well! So God turned away and they were routed in battle. v27:From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD, they conspired against him in Jerusalem and he fled to Lachish, but they sent men after him to Lachish and killed him there.
26 Uzziah king of Judah- a good and memorable king, see Isaiah 6 as the people were really grieving his loss. But Uzziah was proud, tried to burn incense in the Temple against the priests’ warnings and was given leprosy, which he had until he died. 27 Jotham is king of Judah. He was pretty steady and apparently pretty good. Ammonites brought him tribute after he conquered them in battle. 28 Ahaz is not good, he is given over to Arameans and Israels king. Ahaz worships the idols more in time of trouble, shut the temple up, and this made God angry. 29 Hezekiah king – he reopens the temple in the FIRST MONTH of the FIRST YEAR of his reign. The priests re-purified the temple They offered sacrifices to God 30 They celebrate the Passover and Hezekiah prays for those who are ceremonially unclean to be allowed to participate without penalty. God consents. The people celebrated the temple reopening for 2 weeks. With music and sacrifices. Chapter 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. v 27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.

Israel in revival smashes idols and Asherah poles. Hezekiah sets up collections for temple worship. 32 Hezekiah defeats Assyria (miraculous intervention from God, and rats?) v31 is interesting: God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

God, don’t leave me when it’s good, stay with me so I remember and stay on the path.
33: Manasseh king – he started off bad- sacrificing his sons, practiced witchcraft, and built altars to the stars. Then, he reinstituted temple worship, and the people also sacrificed to God on their high places. Amon made king, he wasn’t good and his officials assasinated him after only 2 years as king. Josiah became king at 8, at 16 started learning about God, at 20, purged the land from idols, and continued to serve God. They “found” the book of the law and Josiah led a revival. King Josiah leads the people into battle, Pharaoh Neco wounds him with an arrow, and Josiah dies. They lament his loss. 36: Zedekiah falls to Nebuchadnezzar due to doing “evil in the sight of the Lord,” as if evil could be hidden from the sight of the Lord. Also they mocked the prophets who were telling them what God said including Jeremiah (coming soon to a blog near you). Jerusalem falls into exile. Later, Cyrus of Persia (Babylon) is moved by God to allow a temple to be built in Jerusalem.

Arrgh, it is taking me SO LONG to get through this day’s reading.

Ezra 1:3(Cyrus) Anyone of his people among you—may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. Ezra 2- families coming back to Jerusalem :62 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 63 The governor ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.
I find that a curious text, Urim and Thummim being what the priests used to help them make decisions according to earlier descriptions. Cyrus had in chapter 1 had them filter stuff that belonged in God’s temple OUT to return it, as it had been carried away as treasure and put in with the temple(s) of the idols. Now mentioning the decision making garment that was placed over the heart to decide who was with which family line, fascinating. Ezra 3: They started with the altar, and made sacrificial offerings on it, before they started with the rebuilding of the temple. They were afraid of the people around them but did it anyway out of obedience to God. I clearly need to do what God says in spite of my fears. OK when they started to rebuild the temple there was weeping as well as rejoicing. Were they weeping out of joy or lamenting? Ezra 4 Judah and Benjamin wanted to rebuild the temple on their own, they excluded their enemies from having a hand in it, so the enemies used a variety of techniques and ultimately got the rebuilding stopped. Ezra 5 the work is restarted under Haggai and Zechariah the prophet. They make rapid progress. Darius (of Persia) is asked about the temple and the Israelites reply that Cyrus (of Persia) before him had authorized rebuilding and even given back the things that were taken before his reign. Ezra 6 Darius researches and decrees that the work is to be completed without interference, on pain of death. The work is completed and they celebrate the passover.
Ezra 7: Ezra arrives in Jerusalem with a royal (Persian) decree from Artaxerxes that tribute from Persia is to be given to Ezra to complete the temple restoration and whatever else Ezra needs. Ezra’s lineage traces back to Aaronic priesthood. Ezra 8: The priests and temple articles and treasures are set apart for God. Daniel is quietly mentioned in v 2. A son of Jonathan in v 6. Ezra 9: Ezra prays in repentance about the people intermarrying as they were commanded not to. 10 the people confess and decide to put out their foreign wives. Only 4 people oppose the idea.

Psalm 89- Righteousness. Justice. Love. Faithfulness. Holiness. Yes. God is all that.

Proverbs 18:22 I love my wife, she is, in EVERYTHING good to me.

Romans 9:16 It does not… depend on mans desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” 22ff What if God made some people in order to show his wrath, and others that they might see his wrath and understand his mercy? Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Romans 11:5 so too, at the present time, (look back! Ezra 9:8!) there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 Christ sets aside the Law, by fulfilling it, and in its’ place offers his Grace instead of requiring the works of the Law.
Romans 15:5-7 philosophy of worship. Romans 16 is an awesome list of Paul’s friends and relatives to whom he sends greetings, with very intersting details, e.g. people who worked very hard, tested and approved, like a mother to him.



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