Parent Page, chapter 21
One of the lessons God is teaching me in this chapter is that He certainly has projects He wants accomplished. Last week we read about the rebuilding of the Altar and Temple, this week it's the walls around Jerusalem. God could certainly accomplish all this without us (and it would probably be much easier). But God wants to be involved with us and He wants us to be involved with Him.
This is where Ezra comes in. The Temple is done but the people are in ruins. They are intermarrying with spouses from surrounding nations who worship idols. Isn't this where all the trouble started? Ezra knows the Law of Moses and is a (certified) teacher of it. When he sees the condition of the people, he tears his cloths and mourns.
God uses Nehemiah to lead the people in a project to rebuild the wall in spite of the threats from the surrounding people. They realize it is only because of God's help they could complete the wall...especially in only a couple of months.
By the 8th chapter of Nehemiah, the people are coming to Ezra and asking Him to read and teach the law. The people repent and once again are aligned with God.
The Altar is rebuilt, the Temple is rebuilt, the wall is rebuilt, and the people are rebuilt.
But soon the people become complacent again. Meaningless sacrifices with less than perfect animals. Tithes which don't meet God's standards. Priests who don't care what God wants.
One last time God sends a prophet to turn the people around. Here comes Malachi. Only a few listen. Malachi closes by pointing to that great final day of judgment. For those committed to God, judgment day will be a day of joy because it will usher in eternity in God's presence. Those who have ignored God will be stubble to be burned up.
Which will you be?
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We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.