NOVEMBER 27 READING…NEHEMIAH 1-2 & PSALM 66 & ACTS 16
The time had come for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple, after the captivity of Israel. God raised up Nehemiah who was the cup bearer for the Persian King Artaxerxes, and gave him a burden for the condition of Jerusalem that was reported to him. Nehemiah had been given favor with the Persian King, and had such trust to have the position of being the cup bearer. Nehemiah was to leave his position in the palace and return to Jerusalem to begin the rebuilding of both the city and the Temple. Nehemiah receives the full backing of Artaxerxes, who sends a letter commanding the rebuilding to begin. This command begins the clock on the whole nation of Israel, as the people who God would work through to spread His message to the world. Daniel 9:25 tells us that God had appointed to work through Israel for 490 years, and that time would begin at the command given to Nehemiah. Also, Daniel tells the people the exact time of the of Messiah’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem that would happen 483 after this command was given. That date will take us to Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered Jerusalem. God wrote history before it happened. Nehemiah would have opposition to his rebuilding the city…but he had the support of the King of Persia, and even more important, he had the call of God on his life and mission. Psalm 66 is a praise to the great work of God. God deserves our praise and worship for who He is…and also for all that He has done. Israel is called to worship of God for all the wonderful things He had done for them…we too, need to be a people of praise and thanksgiving to our gracious and loving God. In Acts, Paul is thrown into prison for casting a demon out of a young girl. This girl was being used by the businessmen of Philippi to make money through her divination. They beat Paul and Silas for setting this girl free from the demons and chained them into the deepest part of the jail. Paul and Silas did not pout and complain about their situation, but at midnight they began to sing praises to the Lord. Suddenly, the chains fell off, and the doors to the jail opened. The jailer worried that he had lost the prisoners was about to take his own life when Paul stopped him, telling him that no prisoner had escaped. Then Paul led the jailer to the Lord, and not only him, but his whole family. There is a great lesson for us in this scenario…we can complain and shut down about our situation, or we can praise God for His goodness and place ourselves in a place to be used by God for eternity. We decide today how we are going to approach life, regardless of our situation or circumstance.
Please share your thoughts.
TOMORROW’S READING…NEHEMIAH 3 & PSALM 122 & ACTS 17