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Thursday: In the Holy City — 15 Comments

  1. The city life is not like what we have today in the USA.
    If you recall Nehemiah 7: 1- 4 there was a constant threat living in the city of Jerusalem.
    Enemies of God were relentless in breaking down the wall of Jerusalem.
    If there was a siege in the city no food came into the city.
    Living in the country hearing the approaching enemy they could flee into the mountains.
    The people living in the city most likely had to learn a new skill to support their families.
    Can you imagine moving into a city that has been lying in ruin for more than seventy years.
    Weeds every where, homes had to demolished and rebuilt, roads had to be repaired.
    Many hands were required to repair, protect, and provide the need in temple services.
    Only by sacrifice the city of Jerusalem will become the light house of the world.
    What is the sacrifice that we are required to make God's light house shine brighter?

  2. I have an hour and a half scheduled for the dental chair this morning, so I will leave the commenting to others today. My dentist says that it is not going to hurt. We will see about that!

  3. As I understand Neh 11:1-3 it was a question of the capital city v the other cities. A!so it says those who moved to Jerusalem did so willingly.
    Yes, they had to leave their heritage but surely it was a privilege to live so close to the presence of the LORD?
    I would imagine there were additional commercial advantages because people from the rest of the country would be visiting the temple and the government was based there as well.

  4. Something that struck me in reading the lists was that those who went into exile and returned were only of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Earlier in the history of The children of Jacob/Israel they divided into the ten tribes called Israel and the two mainly called Judah composed of Judah and Benjamin.
    By the time we are studying the ten tribes of Israel had been captured and dispersed among other nations. 2 Kings 17:18
    So those who went into exile were the remnant of the twelve tribes and those who returned were a remnant of the two tribes and those who were chosen to live in the Holy City were a remnant of those who returned.
    Are we the LORD's remnant today?
    What an awesome responsibility to uphold and share with others the truth of the LORD's Everlasting Covenant!

  5. Jeremiah 12:27-47. Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. However, I don't think anything planned would excel the description of the music and pageantry on the day of dedication described in this passage. I could image all the hours of rehearsals for the dedicated singers and instrumentalists. The memorization. The preparation of their clothing. The colors. The careful examination of their sandals so that none would fall. Nothing must be left to chance. How their villages thumped with the practice of marching in formation! What a day when the choirs of heaven march North and South and the Thanksgiving in eternity begins!

  6. Church planting is never an easy thing. I can remember as a child our church was on the ground floor of a member's home, then we moved to a community hall while the church building was being constructed. The relocation process as well as finding persons willing to serve in services in buildings that didn't look anything like a church might have been a daunting task for the adults at that time.

    "The example of this holy man [Nehemiah] should be a lesson to all the people of God, that they are not only to pray in faith, but to work with diligence and fidelity."

    "How many difficulties we encounter, how often we hinder the working of Providence in our behalf, because prudence, forethought, and painstaking are regarded as having little to do with religion! This is a grave mistake. It is our duty to cultivate and to exercise every power that will render us more efficient workers for God. Careful consideration and well-matured plans are as essential to the success of sacred enterprises today as in the time of Nehemiah"(Christian Service, p. 239).

  7. Holy Ghost speak to my heart today.

    In the Holy City.
    What made Jerusalem holy? What make people or things holy in general? At that time of the return was the City holy? Were the other cities unholy/holy? Yes/no? Why? Why not?
    Our Father-His name, and who he is. Is he Holy?
    What makes somewhere(place) e.g Jerusalem holy.
    Someone(person)e.g the priest holy.
    A day(Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday)holy.
    Something e.g the ark of the covenant, the bible holy.

    Why the casting of the lot? why not approaching the Lord with prayer and fasting for direction? can casting the lot the direction which was told to the leaders or was it in tradition which was already used for important matters like that?
    The city had to be inhabited by people coming back from Babylon, people were needed to take care of the temple as well as Jerusalem. People needed to live in close proximity to the area of work so as to do the work effectively.
    All those chosen had a part to play in Jerusalem.

    • Casting lots: could this be a way of determining the LORD's will after praying?

      Exo 28:30  And you shall put in the breast-pocket of judgment the Urim and the Thummim. And they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goes in before Jehovah. And Aaron shall bear the judgment of the sons of Israel upon his heart before Jehovah continually. 

      Ezr 2:62  These looked for their register among those who were counted by genealogy, but they were not found. Therefore they were polluted from the priesthood. 
      Ezr 2:63  And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. 

      Act 1:14  these all were continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. 
      Act 1:21  Therefore, it is right that one of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, 
      Act 1:22  beginning from the baptism of John to that same day that He was taken up from us, to become a witness with us of His resurrection. 
      Act 1:23  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 
      Act 1:24  And they prayed and said, You, Lord, knower of all hearts, show which one You chose from these two, 
      Act 1:25  to take the share of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell, to go to his own place. 
      Act 1:26  And they gave forth their lots. And the lot fell upon Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. 

    • Hi Lyn,

      Why the casting of the lot? why not approaching the Lord with prayer and fasting for direction?
      How does the LORD reveal this direction? Is it laid on the people's hearts and then we vote? Is this not close to casting lots?

  8. As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S. today, the lists in Ezra and Nehemiah reminded me of Psalm 100:4-5 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

    The lists remind us in the generations since Ezra and Nehemiah that God is faithful keeping His promises to us, through all generations. The lists bring to our remembrance God's faithfulness in the past so we remain faithful through the present tribulations. God "stirred up the spirit" of His people with His Spirit (Ezra 1) to where the people "rejoiced because God had given them great joy (Nehemiah 12:43)."

    Faith for the present as we remember His past faithfulness gives us more of His Spirit to live out His joy through the challenges we face.

    Thank you to all who write on this blog, especially you Maurice for starting it off. I always enjoy reading your thoughts as I read the lesson and appreciate how the Holy Spirit speaks through your writings.


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