This Sunday's message: The Song of Zechariah

Posts with the tag “return-from-exile”

August 23
by Pat Damiani on August 23rd, 2023
Today's Reading: John 4:1-54The Samaritans were descended from the ten northern tribes of Israel who were not deported after the Assyrian conquest in 722BC. After the Babylonian exile they built a Temple on Mt. Gerazin. The Jews considered them to be "half-breeds" and by the time of Jesus they were held in low esteem. So when traveling, the Jews would travel all the way around Samaria rather than ...  Read More
August 22
by Pat Damiani on August 22nd, 2023
Today's Reading: Haggai 1:1-15We saw reference to the prophet Haggai back in Ezra chapter 5. Under the direction of Zerubbabel and Joshua the Jews who had returned from exile began to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem around 537 BC. But after some opposition they became discouraged and stopped that work and turned instead to rebuilding their own homes. Haggai's ministry began roughly 17 years later ...  Read More
August 21
by Pat Damiani on August 21st, 2023
Today's Reading: Nehemiah 9:1-38This is certainly quite different than a typical worship service today, isn't it? The people spent a quarter of a day just reading God's Word. Then they spent another quarter of a day making confession and worshiping God. And it seems they did all that without coffee or refreshments!This is a great example of the importance of knowing God. This entire chapter is foc...  Read More
August 18
by Pat Damiani on August 18th, 2023
Today's Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-18As we noted earlier, Nehemiah led the fourth group of exiles back to Jerusalem in 444 BC and led the rebuilding of the city walls. With the project to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem complete, the community turns to the task of renewing their commitment to Yahweh. The events of chapters 8–9 begin about a week after the rebuilding was completed and take place over the...  Read More
August 17
by Pat Damiani on August 17th, 2023
Today's Reading: Ezra 6:1-22I love this chapter! God uses the letter sent by those opposed to the rebuilding of the Temple and turns it around on those who wrote it. Instead of stopping the construction, those who opposed it were actually required to help instead.Once again we see God's sovereignty at work. He can use even those who oppose Him and rebel against Him to help accomplish His will here...  Read More
August 16
by Pat Damiani on August 16th, 2023
Today's Reading: Ezra 5:1-17This passage narrates the restarting of the Temple building project in the second year of the reign of Darius I. There is a reference here to two prophets - Haggai and Zechariah. In the first chapter of Haggai we find God's command to rebuild the Temple, which was given to the people through Haggai. Shortly thereafter, some of the local leaders who opposed the rebuildin...  Read More
August 15
by Pat Damiani on August 15th, 2023
Today's Reading: Ezra 4:1-24Verses 1-5 record the response of the inhabitants of Judah to the efforts to rebuild the Temple. Many of those people had been born in the land during the Babylonian captivity and were afraid of losing their land and their influence.Verses 6-24 are a "parenthesis" in this account. By knowing the times of the reigns of the various kings mentioned in this passage, we can ...  Read More
August 14
by Pat Damiani on August 14th, 2023
Today's Reading: Ezra 3:1-13Under the leadership of Jeshua (the equivalent of the name Jesus, which means YHWH is salvation), the altar is rebuilt, so that sacrifices can be made to God again. That was the first step in restoring proper worship. It was also a way of thanking God for restoring the people to the land. This is consistent with how both Abraham (Genesis 12:7) and Joshua (Joshua 8:30-31...  Read More
August 11
by Pat Damiani on August 11th, 2023
Today's Reading: Ezra 2:1-70To us, this chapter might seem long an boring. But for the book's original audience, it was important because they could trace their lineage back to these "heroes" who had take the first steps toward rebuilding the nation of Judah. I'm sure most of you took a calculator and added up all the number of the various groups and came up with a total of 29,818. which is 12,542...  Read More
August 10
by Pat Damiani on August 10th, 2023
The first six chapters of Ezra record events that occurred before Ezra's ministry. The book begins with Cyrus’ proclamation allowing the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (compare 2 Chr 36:22–23). Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus acknowledges the Lord and not only allows the exiles to return to Jerusalem, but even provides materials for the rebuilding of the temple....  Read More