Wednesday, May 22: Ezra 4-7
Today we encounter a little bit of pride and arrogance!
This isn’t unusual, and it is something we are all guilty of. Each and everyone of us as boasted a bit more than we should, and with that, our fall into sin slips just that little bit further. Yet, by grace we are saved, through faith! Thanks be to God for that!
Unfortunately, it is the faithfulness of some which leads to the pride and arrogance of those reconstructing the Temple.
When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of families and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of King Esar-haddon of Assyria who brought us here.”
(Ezra 4:1-2, NRSV)
Here is a gracious offer! Here is a chance for a wonderful partnership! Here is a truly new beginning for the people of Israel! Here is a sign that God’s presence is being revealed to people all around the world! All of these are great things, yet the response:
You shall have no part with us in building a house to our God;
but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel.
(Ezra, 4:3, NRSV)
A little bit of pride. A little bit of arrogance. At this point in the story of Israel, I get it. I don’t have to like it, but I understand it. The people were home. This is an important place. This is part of their story. They want to do it alone. But at what cost?
Think about that, the next time your pride and arrogance get in the way of a future partnership. Perhaps, God is trying to do something greater if/when we realize that its not about us or what we want, but what God wants to do through us!
Our next readings:
Thursday, May 23: Ezra 8-10
Friday, May 24: Nehemiah 1-3
Saturday, May 25: Nehemiah 4-6
Side note: I’m getting ready for some travel, and I’ve decided that it’s okay to not take work with me. Once we get through Ezra, I’ll probably “blog-off” for a few weeks so I can enjoy some time with family and serve with our youth on their mission trip. I know I’ll keep reading. Hope you will too. And maybe, I’ll just surprise you with a few posts along the way. Be sure to stay tuned . . .