Take Nothing for Granted *Ezra 8

A human trait is to worry when danger lies ahead. However, God ultimately wants us to trust Him for provision, health, and safety. Ezra did just that. He saw the hand of God on his life, but did not take God’s blessings for granted. Ezra proclaimed a fast for the people going with him to humble themselves before God to ask for safety during their journey to Jerusalem. Not only for their safety on a dangerous journey, but also for the valuable possessions that would accompany them. It was a dangerous four month journey. God answered their prayers.
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There is power in fasting and petitioning God. When we seek the God of Israel with fasting and praying, He is kind and gracious and will answer. There is no other but YHWH. Praise the Name of YHWH!
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+8&version=NKJV;NIV

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More Blessings *Ezra 7

Now this pagan Persian King was paying the way for a rabbi / priest (Ezra) to go back to Jerusalem. And not only that, Ezra was given authority to appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to the whole Tran-Euphrates. Again, not only that, but Ezra was to teach God’s Law (the Holy Scriptures) to those who don’t know Them. Tremendous blessings here already, but God does not stop here. Ezra is to take silver and gold to be used to honor the God of Israel. Plus, in the king’s edict no taxes, duty, tribute on any of the Temple, workers, servants, or priest are to be paid. Wow!!! God is pouring out blessing upon blessing; so much so that it overflows in abundance.
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There are consequences to sin, however when we turn to God and repent He not only forgives us our sin and forgets it, but blesses us as we serve Him. What a kind, loving, gracious, and merciful God we serve – YHWH. Your Name be praised!!!
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+7&version=NKJV;NIV

Overpower *Ezra 6

What the enemy deems for harm, God will overpower it with good. What looked like a disaster before has all changed now. The very men who tried their best to stop God’s people are now the ones who are to help them financially. By the Persian king’s edict, these false accusers now have to give the Jews whatever they need: all building materials, supplies and expenses paid, the men paid, and pay for all the offerings and sacrifices to be offered daily to the God of Israel. Plus, by the kings decree, the false accusers were ordered to do this diligently. Wow! How is that for compensation! If that wasn’t bad enough for the accusers, the king also decreed that if all this did not happen diligently they would lose their lives and their houses would be destroyed.
Note: The Temple of God took many, many years to build. God is amazing!!!
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The God of Israel allowed His people to go through hardship for a time only to bless them later abundantly; beyond what they could ever have imagined.
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The God of Israel is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He never changes or breaks His promises to His people. What He did in the past (love, protect, provide, watch over) He can and will do for His beloved people today and that includes you and me.
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Lord God of Israel, help us to keep our focus on the task at hand and fully trust in You and Your protection & provision. Thank You.
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+6&version=NKJV;NIV

Eye of God *Ezra 5

“ But the eye of their God was watching over” His people.
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God sent two Hebrew prophets to help God’s people do the work He had called them to do. Even though the people could not see or know what was going to happen God knew. God’s protective eye was watching and guarding over His people. The truth always comes out eventually and the lies of the evil one holds no ground to stand on.
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And so it is with us. The eye of God watches over those who are His, guarding and protecting them from the taunts and false accusations.
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+5&version=NKJV;NIV

Pursuit *Ezra 4

When the people of God are right where they need to be; building an altar and Temple for the Lord God in order to bring offerings, make sacrifices, and worship Him, the enemy comes along and tries to thwart what’s being done. He first uses deception saying he wants to help. But when he is not allowed to help, he then does everything in his power to discourage and frustrate the workers. Next, he tries to make them afraid. He taunts and falsely accuses them in order to hinder their work and make them fail. Then he appeals to the authorities. However, his efforts are to no avail.
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This is a good example of what the enemy of our souls will do to us when we are in pursuit of seeking God; trying to build our relationship with Him. He taunts, accuses falsely, and tries to invoke fear, worry, anxiety in our lives, and thwart our endeavor to get us off track; taking our focus off of trusting God. His pursuit is strong trying to move our trust and faith in God to doubt, fear, etc. He is relentless and ruthless, but God is greater.
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+4&version=NKJV;NIV

Despite Fear *Ezra 3:3

“Despite their fear of the peoples around them…”
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They didn’t let fear stop them from honoring God. Despite what was around them. Despite what was happening in the land, they put their faith and trust in the God of Israel and God blessed them for it.
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We, too, can step out in faith trusting that God will take care of us when we do what is hard, but good to honor Him. Faith and trust in the Lord God of Israel no matter what! No matter who is around. No matter who is watching. No matter how we feel. Despite fear we also can put our faith and trust in the Mighty One.
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+3%3A3&version=NKJV;NIV

Joy Comes *Ezra 1

Joy comes in the morning after a time of mourning. This chapter is proof that the Bible – Holy Scriptures are true. YHWH is true to His promises.
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God’s people, in exile, are now on the upswing. No longer enslaved and bound by captivity and hardship, this pagan, king Cyrus is fully aware that the God of Israel is the One True God. “1 He acknowledges and makes a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a Temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of His people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the Temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. 4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.’” 6 All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.7 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the Temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god.”
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The God of Israel had stated many times through His prophets that His people would go into captivity for a time, but He would bring them back into the Promise Land. God is true to His Word. He even uses pagan kings to accomplish His purposes. The blessings of freedom from oppression and bondage are great, but God does not stop there. He also blessed them way beyond their own expectations with an abundance of material wealth.
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After a period of mourning, joy came in the morning for God’s people. True peace, joy, and happiness only comes from the Living God; YHWH. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Let the Name of YHWH be praised – serve Him alone in Jesus Name.
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+1&version=NKJV;NIV