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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB August 5

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Aug 05
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Ezra

1:5 Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. This is happening again today. Jews are migrating to Israel from all over the world, just like the Bible prophesied. Also, just this past week on the 9th of Av, The Temple Institute in Jerusalem began building an altar for the next Temple. Now why would they start doing that? Hint: read verse 5 again. Perhaps this is yet another "sign of the times." The next Temple will not be occupied by any other than Yeshua Messiah. It's anyone guess if this altar will remain intact through the coming days, but the fact is that people are beginning to anticipate something or Someone special!

1:7 King Cyrus himself brought out the articles that King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Lord's Temple in Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his own gods. Awhile back, we talked about all the antichrist types in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzar was definitely one of those. He was supposedly the greatest king of Babylon (Babylon is both a physical kingdom and a spiritual kingdom of captivity), he made an image/statue that the people were required to bow down to, he turned into a beast for 7 years—so many similarities. Here we see a Christ-type taking back what was his from an antichrist type in order to rebuild the Temple.

Trivia: Before his death, Saddam Hussein began rebuilding the ancient city of Babylon. From the news :

In 1982, Saddam's workers began reconstructing Babylon's most imposing building, the 600-room palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II. Archaeologists were horrified. Many said that to rebuild on top of ancient artifacts does not preserve history, but disfigures it. The original bricks, which rise two or three feet from the ground, bear ancient inscriptions praising Nebuchadnezzar. Above these, Saddam Hussein's workers laid more than 60-million sand-colored bricks inscribed with the words, "In the era of Saddam Hussein, protector of Iraq, who rebuilt civilization and rebuilt Babylon." The new bricks began to crack after only ten years.

Adjacent to Nebuchadnezzar's ancient palace and overlooking the Euphrates River, Saddam Hussein built a new palace for himself. Shaped like a ziggurat (stepped pyramid), Saddam's Babylonian palace is a monstrous hilltop fortress surrounded by miniature palm trees and rose gardens. The four-storey palace extends across an area as large as five football fields. Villagers told news media that a thousand people were evacuated to make way for this emblem of Saddam Hussein's power.

Contrast the book of Ezra, and the magnificence and joy of the Temple being rebuilt!

1 Corinthians

1:22-24 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. This verse is so true! Every word (duh!). But to those who are the "called out ones"—Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The same power of God that raised Jesus also raised all His children!

1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. I'd like to add, the love of God is bigger than men give Him credit for!

1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble... The called out ones are going to seem unwise, weak, and ignoble to the uncalled! What will be the result later?

1:27-28 ...but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen... You can pretty much count on the "chosen" of God to be mistreated by the world, especially the hypocrites or false teachers. Don't worry if you don't feel ready for that. God has a way of preparing one and making our hearts willing!

Why does He pick such weak, foolish, despised people for His calling? ...So that no man may boast before God (vs. 29).