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Bible Pathways 06/03/2003

June 3

Read Ezra 6 -- 7

In Today's Reading:

Darius' decree to complete the Temple; dedication of Temple; Passover restored

The prophets Haggai and Zechariah reminded the Israelites in Jerusalem that the real reason the Lord's work went unfinished was because their first interest was in building their own homes. These two prophets boldly preached the Word of God. This inspired Zerubbabel and encouraged the people to rebuild the Temple. As they recognized the importance of obedience to the Commandments of God, they prospered and soon completed building the Temple (Ezra 6:14).

Nothing is recorded about the Jews in Jerusalem between the time of Haggai and Zechariah's ministry and the coming of Ezra from Persia about 60 years later. Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Zechariah had all died by then and left the next generation to grow up without spiritual leadership.

Ezra was born during the Babylonian captivity. He was a descendant of Aaron, Israel's first high priest (7:1-5; I Chronicles 6:3-15). Note carefully the threefold key to Ezra's great effectiveness. He had consistently desired to know all of God's Word; he had committed himself to obey the Law; and he had prepared himself to teach God's Law (Ezra 7:10).

Ezra was committed to seeking, doing, and teaching God's Word. This should be a reminder that, if we want God to bless our lives, we too must set our hearts upon the whole counsel of God. It is essential to know that God desires our lives to be in submission to His Word day by day. This is the key to victory over Satan (Ephesians 6:16-17).

Ezra is an example of how God will use anyone who will take all of His Word seriously (II Timothy 2:15).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ezra 6:22). Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35), and He was without sin; leaven is symbolic of sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Word Studies:

6:1 house of the rolls = where records were kept; 6:4 king's house = royal treasury; 6:15 Adar compares with Feb/Mar; 7:21 the river = Euphrates.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for God to bless Bible Pathway Distributors · The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Donald Eric Barker · BPM Staff: Letha Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD), Rep. Ken Bentsen (TX), and Rep. Solomon Ortiz (TX) · Country: Dominica (65,000) in the British West Indies · Major languages: English and French patois · Religious freedom · 75% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to lead you in all that you do (Matthew 6:13).

Optional Reading: II Corinthians 5

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 2:15

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