September 30, 2012

272 - Nehemiah's final reforms.

Kathleen's thoughts.

Psalm 119: 81 - 176, 1: 1-6
Nehemiah 13: 10-22

Prayer for deliverance Give me life in accordance with Your faithful love, and I will obey the decree You have spoken.

Faith in God's law Lord, Your word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven. Your faithfulness is for all generations; You established the earth, and it stands firm.

Love for God's law How I love Your teaching! It is my mediation all day long.How sweet Your word is to my taste sweeter than honey to my mouth.. I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way.

Safety in God's law I hate the double - minded, but I love Your instruction. You are my shelter and my shield; i put my hope in Your word.

Desire to obey God's law The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.

The justice of God's law You are righteous, Lord, and Your judgments are just. The decrees You issue are righteous and altogether trustworthy.

A plea for help Consider how I love Your precepts; Lord, give me life, according to Your faithful love. The entirety of Your word is truth and all Your righteous judgements endure forever.
Let my cry reach You, Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my plea reach You; rescue me according to Your promise.

True happiness How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and who leaf does not wither, Whatever he does prospers.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteousness. but thruway of the wicked leads to ruin.

Tithing and worship re-established
Sabbath-keeping violated

Each person should do as he has decided in his heart - not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7


271 - The Law of the Lord

Kathleen's thoughts

Psalm 148: 1-14, 149: 1-9, 119: 1-80
Nehemiah 44-47, 13: 1-3

A call to praise God Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted. His majesty covers heaven and earth. He has raised up a horn for His people. praise from all hIs godly ones, from the Israelites, the people close to Him. Hallelujah!

Hymns of praise Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to HIm with Tambouringe and lyre. For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation. Let the godly celebrate in triumphal glory;;let them shout for joy. Let the exaltation of God be in their mouths and a two edged sword in their hands.

Tabiah expelled from the temple He was given a room where they had previously stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, and the tenths of grain. new wine, and oil prescribed for the Levites singers, and gatekeepers, along with the contributions for the priests.

Temple order restored I was gretly displeased and threw all of Tobiah's household possessions out of the room. I ordered that the rooms be purified, and I had the articles of the house of God restored there, along with the grain offiering and frankincenses.

Separation from foreigners
The law of the Lord How happy are those whose way is blameless, who live according to the law of the Lord! Happy are those who keep h=His decrees and seek Him with all their heart.

obedience to God's law How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your word. I have sought You with all my heart; don't let me wander from Your commands.
I have treasured your word in my heart. so that I may not sin against You.
Lord, may You be praised; teach me Your statutes With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from Your mouth.
I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Determination to obey My life is down in the dust; give me life through Your word.

A prayer for understanding Teach me, Lord the meaning of Your statutes. And I wil always keep them. Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.

Trusting God's law Remember Your word to Your servant' You have given me hope through it. This is my comfort in my afflicting; Your promise has given me life.

Devotion to God's law Lord, the earth is filled with Your faithful love; teach me Your statutes.

The value and justice of God's law Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
May Your compassion come to me so that I may live, for Your instruction is my delight.

For Thought and contemplation
Revival could not come to Israel while Tobiah was living in the Temple. A Tobiah in God's House is like having the devil in the church vestry. Would to God we had men in the Church today who would follow Nehemiah's example, and expel from the midst of God's people all those things which are not of Him.

Jesus overturned the money changers' tables and the chairs of those selling doves. And He said to them. "It is written, "My house will be called a house of prayer" But you are making it a den of robbers!" Matthew 21: 12-13


September 26, 2012

270 - The Covenant

Kathleen's thoughts

Nehemiah 9: 32-38, 10: 1-39, 12; 27-43,
Psalm 147: 1-20

God's goodness and mercy remembered
Covenant made In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement in writing on a sealed document containing the names of leaders, Levites, and priests.

The people sign the covenant 
The Covenant The rest of the people the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants along with their wives, sons, and daughters, everyone who is able to understand and who has separated themselves from the surroundings peoples to obey the law of God - join with their noble brothers and commit themselves with a sworn oath to follow the law of God given through God's servant Moses and to carefully obey all the commands ordinances, and statutes of the Lord our Lord.

The dedication of the wall On that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy. The women and children also celebrated and Jerusalem's rejoicing was heard far away. 

The praise of God the Almighty Hallelujah! How good it is to sing to our God, for praise is pleasant and lovely.
The Lord values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love.

Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus - the great Shepherd of the sheep - with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with all that is good to do His will working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


September 25, 2012

269 - The Law is read.

Kathleen thoughts

Nehemiah 11: 10-36, 7: 73, 8: 1-18, 9: 1-31

The priests
The Levites
The gatekeepers
Further distribution of the people The rest of Israel, the priests, and the Levites were in all the villages of Judah, each on his own inherited property. The temple servants lived on Ophel;
The leader of the Levites in Jerusalem.

Ezra reads the law So the priests Levites, gatekeepers, temple singers, some of the people, temple servants and all Israel settled in their towns.

Ezra opened the book in full view of all the people, since he was elevated above everyone. As he opened it, all the people stood up. Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and with their hands uplifted all the people said. "Amen, Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Festival of Booths They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the Israelites should dwell in booths during the festival of the seventh month. So they proclaimed and spread this news throughout all their towns and in Jerusalem, saying. "Go out to the hill country and brink back branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm and other leafy tress to make booths, just as it is written.

The had not celebrated like this from the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day. And there was tremendous joy.
Ezra readout of the book of the law of God every day, from the firsts day to the last. The Israelites celebrated the feast for seven days, and on the eight day there was an assembly, according to the ordinance,

The people confess their sins

God's goodness remembered Stand up, bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Praise Your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise,
But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in faithful love, and You did not abandon them.

You sent Your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold Your Manna from their mouths, and You gave them water for their thirst. You provided for them in the wilderness 40 years and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell

You were patient with them for many years, and Your Spirit warned them through Your prophets, but they would not listen. Therefore, You handed them over to the surrounding peoples.

Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope; Because of the Lord's faithful love we do not perish, for  His mercies never end. Lamentations 3: 21-22.


268 - Rebuilding programme completed.

Kathleen's thoughts

Nehemiah 5: 15-19, 6: 1-19, 7: 1-4, 11: 1-9
1 Chronicles 9: 2-34

Nehemiah's unselfishness Each day, one ox, six choice sheep, and some fowl were prepared for me. An abundance of all kinds of wine was provided every 10 days. But I didn't demand the food allotted to the governor, because the burden on the people was so heavy.
Remember me favorably, my God, for all that I have done for this people.

Plots against Nehemiah Come let's meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley. But they were planning to harm me.

I Went to the house of Shemaiah son of delaiah, son Mehetabel, who was restricted to his house. He said;
Let us meet at the house of god inside the temple. Let us shut the temple doors because they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you tonight!

I realized that God had not sent him, because of the prophecy he spoke against me.

My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat for what they have done, and also Noadiah,the prophetess and the other prophets who wanted to intimidate me.

Rebuilding completed The wall was completed in 52 days, on the twenty-fifth day of the month elul. When all our enemies heard this, all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God.

Hananian Hananiah to protect Jerusalem When the wall had been rebuilt and I had the doors installed, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, commander of the fortress, because he was faithful man who feared God more than most.

The first return
The priests
The Levites

The Gate Keepers The total number of those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds was 212.
They were registered by genealogy in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed them to their trusted positions.
So they and their sons were assigned to the gates of the Lord's house, the house of the tent.

Other tasks of the Levites
The inhabitants of Jerusalem The people praised all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.

Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts. Romans 12: 4-6

We need to realize that we do all have different gifts, we cannot compare ourselves to others who at times seem to have it all, but they don't. God clearly states in this scripture that we are unique in our own ways and we compliment each other to function in unity.


267 - Rebuilding the walls.

Kathleen's thoughts

Nehemiah 2: 17-20, 3: 1-32, 4: 1-23, 5: 1-13.

Nehemiah's encouragement to rebuild Come, let's rebuild Jerusalem's wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.
They said, "Let's start rebuilding" and they were encouraged to do this good work.

the contempt of Sanballat and others I gave them this reply, "The God of heaven is the One who will grant us success. We, His servants, will start building. But you have no share, right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.

List of builders
The Levites
The priests
other builders
Nehemiah overcomes ridicule Listen, our God, for we are despised. Make their insults return on their own heads and let them be taken as plunder to a land of captivity. Do not cover their guilt or let their sin be erased from Your sight, because they have provoked the builders.
So we rebuilt the wall until the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had the will to keep working.

The conspiracy
Nehemiah's precautions
The people's complaint
Nehemiah's rebuke
The restitution.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers can live together! It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord has appointed the blessing - life forevermore
Psalm 133: 1,3. This is a beautiful Psalm. My sister cross-stitched the scripture for my Silver-wedding anniversary present.


266 - Ezra and Nehemiah.

Kathleen's thoughts

Ezra 10: 1-8, 10: 9-44
Nehemiah 1: 11, 2: 1-6, 5: 14, 2:10-16
Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem 437BC

Ezra plans national gathering He did not eat food or drink water, because he was mourning over the unfaithfulness of the exiles.

Ezra preaches and the people repent. You have been unfaithful by marring foreign women, adding to Israel's guilt. Therefore, make a confession to the Lord God of your fathers and do His will. Separate yourselves from the surrounding peoples and your foreign wives.

Foreign wives divorced.
Nehemiah's grief The survivors in the province, who returned from the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem's wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned down.
When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

Nehemiah's prayer Lord God of heaven, the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps His gracious covenant with those who love Him and keep His commands, let Your eyes be open and Your ears be attentive to hear Your servant's prayer that I now pray to You day and night for Your servants, the Israelites.
They are Your servants and Your people,. You redeemed them by Your great power and strong hand.Please Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to that of Your servants who delight to revere Your name. Give Your servant success today, and have compassion on him in the presence of this man.
At the time, I was the king's cup bearer.

Nehemiah's request
Nehemiah appointed governor Furthermore, from the day King Artaxerxes appointed me to be their governor in the land of Judah. - from the twentieth year until his thirty-second year, 12 years - I and my associates never ate from the food allotted to the governor,
Sanballat and Tobiah's indignation
Nehemiah's arrival in Jerusalem.

So then my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to act for His good purpose. Phil. 2: 12-13


265 - The return to Jersulalem

Kathleen's thoughts

Ezra 7: 21-28, 8: 1-36, 9: 1-15

Artaxerxes' decree I King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers in the region west of the Euphrates River; Whatever Ezra the priest and expert in the law of the God of heaven asks of you must be provided promptly.

Ezra's thanksgiving Praise the Lord God of our fathers, who has put it into the king's mind to glorify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. And who has shown favour to me before the king, his counselors, and all his powerful officers. SO I took courage because I was strengthened by the Lord my God, and I gathered Israelite leaders to return with me.

The exiles who returne with Ezra

The campsites
Ezra finds Levites
Prayer ad fasting I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us, our children and all our possessions.
The hand of our God is gracious to all who seek Him, but His great anger is against all who abandon Him. So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and He granted our request.

The temple treasures
Journey begins, We set out from the Ahava River on the twelfth day of the first month to go to Jerusalem. We were strengthened by our God, and He protected us from the power of the enemy and from ambush along the way.

Ezra's arrival at Jerusalem
Ezra's grief
His prayer

For thought and contemplation.
The secret of Ezra's successful ministry is found in Ezra 7:10. He not only knew what he had to do, but he also did it. As someone has said.. "It is of no benefit to know more, unless you first do something with what you know already.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? In the same way faith, if it doesn't have works, is dead by itself" James 2: 14,17


September 21, 2012

264 - The Jews triumph

Kathleen's thoughts

Ester 8: 1-17, 9: 1-32, 10: 1-3
Ezra 7: 11-20

The king's edict That same day King Ahasuerus awarded Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Mordecai entered the king's presence because Esther had revealed her relationship to Mordecai. The king removed his signet ring he had recovered from Haman and gave it to Mordecai, and Esther put him in charge of Haman's estate.
The Jews rejoice
Their revenge and triumph
Days of rejoicing But the Jews in Susa had assembled on the thirteenth and the fourteenth days of the month. They rested on the fifteenth day of the month, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing. This explains why the rural Jews who live in villages observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a time of rejoicing and feasting. It is a holiday when they send gits to one another.
The Feast of Purim
It's perpetual celebration These days are remembered and celebrated by every generation, family, province, and city, so that these days of Purim will not lose their significance in Jewish life and their memory will not fade from their descendants.
Mordecai's promotion
Ezra's commission

Through the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, thought there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the  stalls, yet I will triumph in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation
Hab. 3: 17-18


263 - The tables are turned.

Kathleen's thoughts

Esther 3: 12-15, 4: 117, 4: 1-14, 6: 1-14, 7: 1-10

The command to annihilate all the Jews The royal scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and the order was written exactly ash Hamman commanded. it was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the royal signet ring. Letters were sent by couriers to each of the royal provinces telling the officials to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jewish people young and old, women and children  and plunder their possessions on a single day the thirteenth day of Adar, the twelfth month.

Mordecai enlists Esther's help When Mordecai leaned all that had occurred, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth ad ashes, went into the middle of the city, and cried loudly and bitterly. He only went as far as the King's Gate. 
Esther's female servants and her eunuchs came and reported the news to her, and the queen was overcome with fear. She sent clothes for Mordecai to wear so he could take of his sackcloth but he did not accept them. 
Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa ordering their destruction, so that Hathach might show it to Esther, explain to her, and instruct her to approach the king, implore his favour, and plead with him personally for her people. Hathach came and repeated Mordecai;s response to Esther. 
Esther sent this reply to Mordecai' God and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don't eat or drink for three days, night and day . I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish , I perish. So Mordecai went and did everything Esther had ordered him.

Esther's invitation One can see from these scriptures that the Lord answered the prayers and fasting of the Jews. As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the courtyard, she won his approval. The king extended the golden scepter in his hand toward Esther, and she approached and touched the tip of the scepter. 
If it pleases the king "Esther replied may the king and Haman come today to the banquet I have prepared for them."
So the king gave the command "Hurry and get Haman so we can do as Esther has requested.
While drinking the wine the king asked Esther, Whatever you ask will be given to you. Whatever you want, even to half the kingdom will be done. 

Haman's rage against Mordecai

The king's sleepless night 
Mordecai honoured By the king.

Haman accused Queen Esther answered, If I have obtained your approval , my king, and if the king is pleased, spare my life= this is my request; and spare my people, this is my desire. For my people and I have have been sold out to destruction, death, and extermination. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept silent. Indeed, the trouble wouldn't be worth burdening the king.
King Ahasuerus spoke up and asked Queen Esther, who is this, and where is the one who would devise such a scheme?"
ESther answered, "The adversary and enemy is this evil Haman:
Haman stood terrified before the king and queen.
Haman hanged Harbona, one of the royal eunuchs, said; There is a gallows 75 feet tall at Haman's house that he made for Mordecai who gave the report that saved the king: The king commanded, Hang him on it" 
They hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's anger subsided.

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking,, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will opened. Matthew 7: 7-8


September 20, 2012

262 - A beauty contest

Kathleen's thoughts

Esther 1_ 1-22, 1: 13-22 2: 1-23, 3: 1-11

Ahasuerus' feast These events took place during the days of Ahasuerus, who ruled 127 provinces from India to Cush.  In those days King Ahasuerus reigned from his royal throne in the fortress of Susa. 
Vashti's rebellion The king requests the presence of his queen to show off her beauty but she refuses is command and the king becomes furious.

Her dethronement So the king consulted the wise men to know what to do with the queen. The king asked, According to the law, what should be done with Queen Vashti, since she refused to obey King Ahasuerus command that was delivered by the eunuchs?
And so Queen Vashti lost her royal position as Queen.

New queen sought The orders were... "Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king., Let the king appoint commissioners in each province of the kingdom.

Esther brought to Shushan Mordecai was the legal guardian of his cousins Hadassah (that is, Esther) because she didn't have a father or mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was extremely good-looking. When her father and mother died, Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter,
Esther was taken to the palace  and placed under the care of Hegai, who was in charge of the women.. The young woman pleased him and gained his favour so that is accelerated the process of the beauty treatments and the special diet that she received. He assigned seven hand picked female servants to her from the palace and transferred her and her servants to the harem's best quarters.
Esther did not reveal her ethnic background or her birthplace, because Mordecai had ordered her not to.

 Esther made queen Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in the royal palace in the tenth month, the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. The king love Esther more than all the other woman She won more favour and approval from him than did any of the other virgins. He placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti.

Feast in honour of Esther The king held a great banquet for all his officials and staff. It was Esther's banquet. He freed his province from tax payments ad gave gifts worthy of the king's bounty.

Mordecal saves the king's life During those days while Mordecai was sitting at the King's Gate, Bighan and Teresh, two eunuchs who guarded the king's entrance, became infuriated and tried to assassinate King Ahasuerus. When Mordecai learned of the plot, he reported it to Queen Esther and she told the king of Mordecal's behalf. When the report was investigated and verified, both men were hanged on the gallows. This event was recorded in the court records of daily events in the king's presence.
Haman's plot He was promoted to rank and gave him a higher position than all the other officials. The entire royal staff at the King;s Gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, because the king had commanded this to be done for him. But Mordecai would not bow down to pay homage.  SO when Haman saw that Mordecai was not bowing down to pay homage he was filled with rage.,  SO he set out to destroy all of Mordecails people, the Jews, throughout Ahasuerus kingdom.

Haman gains the king's support. The king removed his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jewish people. Then the king told Haman. 'The money and people are given to you to do with as you see fit"

Your beauty should not consist of outward things... instead. it should consist of the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quest spirit, which is very valuable in god's eyes. 1 Peter 3: 3-4


261 - Israel's deliveranca

Kathleen's thoughts.

Zechariah 10: 1-12, 11:1-17, 12: 1-14, 13: 1-9, 14: 1-21

The Lord promises deliverance
Destruction to come
The two shepherds
Punishment of Israel's enemies
Israel's repentance and sorrow
Israel's cleansing
The command to kill God's shepherd
Jerusalem and the nations
Israel's restoration

For thought and contemplation
Men have predicted that history will reach its climax through a nuclear holocaust. God has determined that it will reach its climax at the return of His Son. Whom do you believe - men or God?
Keep Zechariah 14: 1-9 before you, and it will hold you fast in the midst of the greatest threat of world destruction.

Zechariah 14
Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations as He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, forming a huge valley, so that half the mountain will move to the north and half to the south. I have stood on Mount Olives looking down at Jerusalem a magnificent sight and stood in awe of the city of David. You will flee by My mountain valley, for the valley of the mountains will extend to Azal. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come and all the holy ones with Him.
On that day there will be no light; the sunlight and moonlight will diminish. It will be a day known only to Yahweh, without day or night, but there will be light at evening.
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea, in summer and winter alike. On that day Yahweh will become King over all the earth. Yahweh alone. and His name alone. All the land from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem will be changed into a plain. But Jerusalem will be raised up and will remain on its site from the Benjamin Gate to the place of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal wine presses. People will live there, and never again will there be a curse of destruction. So Jerusalem will dwell in security.

1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the archangel's voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.


September 19, 2012

260 - The completion of the Temple.

Kathleen's thoughts

Zechariah 8: 16-23, 9: 1-17
Ezra 6:22
Psalm 146: 1-10, 111: 1-10, 112: 1-10,

The Lord promises to restore Israel These are the things you must do. Speak truth to one another, render honest and peaceful judgements in your gates. Do not plot evil in your hearts against your neighbour, and do not love perjury, for I hate all this - The Lord declares.


The Temple is completed The house was completed on the third day of the month of Adar in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius
Dedication of the Temple 

The Passover celebration The exiles observed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 
They observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy, because the Lord had made them joyful having changed the Assyrian King's attitude toward them, so that he supported them in the work on the house of the God of Israel.


In praise of God the Saviour Psalms 146: 1-10 Hallelujah! My soul, praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

In praise of the Lord Psalm 111: 10-19 The works of His hands are truth and justice all His instructions are trustworthy. 'His name is holy and awe inspiring,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have a good insight. His praise endures forever.

The happiness of a good person Psalm 112: 1-10Hallelujah! Happy is the man who fears the Lord, taking great delight in His commandments. His descendants will be powerful in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

In praise of the Lord's goodness  Psalm 113: 1-9 hallelujah! Give praise, servants of the Lord; praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised both now and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting, let the name of the Lord be praised.

A man saved from death praises God Psalm 116: 1-19  The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is compassionate.

In praise of the Lord Praise the Lord, all nations! Glorify Him, all peoples! For great is His faithful love to us; the Lord's faithfulness endures forever

Judgment of Neighbouring cities
A divine Deliverer. Rejoice greatly Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

For thought and contemplation
The Temple project is at last complete a full twenty three years after it was begun. God's plans and purposes may be hindered or postponed, but they will ultimately be fulfilled. Has there been a hindering of the divine purpose in your life!? Then hold on = the day of its fulfilment will most certainly come.

Phil. 1: 6 
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.


259 - The decree discovered

Kathleen's thoughts

Zechariah 6: 1-15
Ezra 5: 3-17, 6: 1-14
Zechariah 7: 1-15

The vision of the four chariots I looked up again and saw four chariots coming from between two mountains.
The angel told me, "These are the four spirits of heaven going out after presenting themselves to the Lord of the whole earth.
As the strong horses went out, they wanted to go patrol the earth, and the Lord said, "Go patrol  the earth " So they patrolled the earth.Then He summoned me saying "See those going to the land of the north have pacified My Spirit in the northern land.

Symbolic crowning of Joshua The word of the Lord came to me; 'Take an offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go that same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. Take silver and gold, make crowns and place them on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest.  You are to ell him
Here is a man whose name is Branch; He will branch out from His place and build the Lord's temple.
Yes, He will build the Lord's temple; He will be clothed in splendor and will sit on His throne and rule. There will also be a priest on His throne, and there will be peaceful counsel between the two of them The crown will reside in the Lord's temple as a memorial to Heidai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen son of Zephaniah.

Tattenai and Shetharboenai's question Who gave you the order to rebuild this temple and finish this structure.

They appeal to Darius But God was watching over the Jewish elders.
We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding he temple that was built many years ago.
So if it pleases the king, let a search of the royal archives in Babylon be conducted to see if it is true that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to rebuild this house of God in Jerusalem. Let the king's decision regarding this matter be sent to us.

Cyrus' decree is discovered

Darius adds to the decree Leave the construction of this house of God alone., Let the governor and elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its original site,.
I hereby issue a decree concerning what you must do, sot hat the elders of the Jews can rebuild this house of God;
I also issue a decree concerning any man who interferes with this directive,

Go-operation of Tattenai and Shethar-bozenai So the Jewish elders continued successfully with the building under the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia,.

Insincere fasting condemned When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and in the seventh months for these 70 years, did you really fast for Me/ When you eat and drink, don't you eat and drink simply for yourselves. Aren't these the words that the Lord proclaimed through the earlier

The cause of exile The Lord of Hosts says this; Render true justice. Show faithful love and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the stranger or the poor, and do not plot evil in your hearts against one another.
They turned a pleasant land into a desolation.

The Lord's promise The Lord of Hosts says this; I am extremely jealous for Zion; I am jealous for her with great wrath" The Lord says this; 'I will return to Zion and live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful Cit, the mountain of the Lord of Hosts, and the Holy Mountain."
The Lord of Hosts says this; 'I will save My people from the land of the east and the land of the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem. They will be My  people, and I will be their faithful and righteous God:
As you have been a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing. Don't be afraid; let your hands be strong. S
SO I have resolved again in these days to do what is good to Jerusalem and the house of Judah, Don't be afraid.

For thought and contemplation.
When I read this today I was deeply touched along with the scripture below, We serve an awesome God and His word is just.
An effective father, it has been said, needs two outstanding qualifications; firmness in discipline and a readiness to encourage. Some think God has just Enif these characteristics - firmness in discipline - but look again at Zechariah 8: 15 and remind yourself that God is a Father who not only disciplines but encourages and cares.

Psalm 103: 13, 17-18
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him...But from eternity to eternity the Lord's faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His instructions.

Wow, what an awesome scripture to stand by.


258 - Zechariah's visions.

Kathleen's thoughts

Haggai 2: 10 - 14
Zechariah 1: 7-21,4: 1-10, 2: 1-13, 3: 1-10, 5: 1-11

Haggai confronts the priests On the twenty fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet;
This is what the Lord of Hosts says; Ask the priest for a ruling, this is about defiling themselves and the priests answered. It becomes defiled.Then Haggai replied, So is this people, and so is this nation before Me the Lord's declaration "An so is every work of their hands; even what they offer there is defiled.

The Lord promises blessing Is there still seed left in the granary? The vine, the fig, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yet produced. But from this day on I will bless you.
My servant - the Lord's declaration and make you like My signet ring, for I have chosen you. This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.

Zecharaih's vision of the horses The angel who was talking to me replied" I will show you what they are" Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained. They are the ones the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.  They reported to the Angel of the Lord standing among the myrtle trees ' We have patrolled the earth, and right now the whole earth is calm and quiet"
Proclaim further; This is what the Lord of Hosts says; My cities will again overflow with prosperity; the Lord will once more comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem."

God's promise to Zerubbabel So he answered me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel; 'Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts.
Zerubbabel's hands have laid the foundation of this house, ad his hands will complete it.

Zechariah's vision of the horns And he said to me, "These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem"
Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen I asked "What are they coming to do?"
These are the horns that scattered Judah so no one could raise his head. These craftsmen have come to terrify them, to cut off the horns of the nations that raised their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it.

His vision of the measuring line The declaration of the Lord; I will be a wal of fire around it, and I will be the glory within it.
He has sent Me for His glory against the nations who are plundering you, for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of His eye. I will move against them with my power, and they will become plunder for their own servants.

Zechariah's vision of the high priest Then the Angel of the Lord charged Joshua; 'This is what the Lord of Hosts says; If you walk in My ways and keep My instructions, you will both rule My house and take care of My courts; I will also grant you access among these who are standing here.
Notice the stone I have set before Joshua; on that one stone are seven eyes, I will engrave an inscription on it. the declaration of the Lord of Hosts and I will take away the guilt of this land in a single day. On that day, each of you will invite his neighbour to sit under his vine and fig tree.

Zechariah's vision of the golden candlestick The two olive trees that on either side of it, represents
These are the two anointed ones: he said, "who stand by the Lord of the whole earth"

His vision of the flying scroll I will send it out the declaration of the Lord of Hosts - :and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It will stay inside his house and destroy it along with its timbers and stones.

Zechariah's vision of the woman in the basket. It's a measuring basket that is approaching. And he continued, "This is their iniquity in all the land" Then a lead cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting inside the basket.
"This is Wickedness" he said He shoved her down into the basket and pushed the lead weight over it opening. Then I looked up ad saw two woman approaching with the wind in their wings. Their wings were like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and sky.
So I asked the angel who was speaking with me, "Where are the taking the basket?"
To build a shrine for it in the land of Shinar,: he told me. "When that is ready, the basket will be placed there on its pedestal"

When Jesus had finished this sermon, the crowds were astonished at HIs teaching, because He was teaching them like one who had authority and not like their scribes
Matthew 7: 28-29


257 - Opposition to the wor

Kathleen's thoughts.

Ezra 4: 1-24, 5:2
Psalm 125: 1-5, 120: 1-8
Haggai 1-15, 2: 1-9
Zechariah 1: 1-6

Samaritan interference They wanted to be part of building the house of the Lord but Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the other leaders of Israel's families answered them, You may have no part with us in building a house for our God, since we alone must build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us.

The security of God's people Do what is good, Lord, to the good, to those whose hearts are upright. But as for those who turn aside to crooked ways, the Lord will banish them with the evildoers. Peace be with Israel.

Letters of accusation Let it be known to the king that the Jews who came from you have returned to us at Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and evil city, finishing its walls, and repairing its foundations. Let it now be known to the king that if that city is rebuilt and its walls are finished, they will not pay tribute, duty, or land tax, and the royal revenue will suffer.
...That a search should be made in your father's record books. In these record books you will discover and verify that the city is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces. There have been revolts in it since ancient times. That is why this city was destroyed.

Artaxerxes' answers The king read the letters of accusation and said to be true. Therefore, issue an order for these men to stop, so that this city will not be rebuilt until a further decree has been pronounced by me. See that you not neglect his matter. Otherwise, the damage will increase and the royal interests will suffer.

Work suspended for seven years Now the construction of god's house in Jerusalem had stopped and remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.

A prayer against Israel's enemies

Haggai and Zechariah But when the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them.

People reproached for neglect of Temple The Lord of Hosts says this; These people say; The time has not come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.

Zerubbabel and Joshua Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began to rebuild God's house in Jerusalem. The prophets of God were with them, helping them.
They began work on the house of Yahweh of Hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius.

The splendour of the future Temple For the Lord of Hosts says this; Once more, in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth,m the sea and dry land. I will shake all the nations so that the treasures of all the nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory. Says the Lord of Hosts. The silver and gold belong to Me - the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. The final glory of this house will be greater than the first. says the Lord of Hosts. I will provide peace in this place the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.

Zechariah's plea. Return to me this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. and I will return to you, says the Lord of Hosts.

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully made through me, and all the Gentiles might hear. So I was, rescued from the sons' mouth 2 Timothy 4: 17

September 17, 2012

261 - His Glorious Day

Chareen's Thoughts
I have been getting further and further behind in my daily reading plan and the further behind I became the more overwhelmed I was feeling about catching up.  It's hundreds of pages now.  In fact it was so bad that I had emotionally given up on this reading plan.  I have done it before but reading and blogging my way through is a lot harder than I ever imagined it would be.  It takes a lot of time and effort.  This past weekend as I was thinking of giving up I felt this verse rise up in my spirit.
...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, Philippians 3:13
So I am here picking myself up dusting myself down and moving forward from today.  Today is a new day.  I will catch up as I am able.

  • Today I start back in the book of Zechariah
  • Ask of the Lord rain in the time of the latter or spring rain. It is the Lord Who makes lightnings which usher in the rain and give men showers, and grass to everyone in the field. 2 For the teraphim (household idols) have spoken vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and the diviners have seen a lie and the dreamers have told false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people go their way like sheep; they are afflicted and hurt because there is no shepherd. Zechariah 10:1-2 
  • Chapter ten is about the Lord's promised deliverance.
  • And I will strengthen [Israel] in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down and glory in His name, says the Lord. Zechariah 10:12
  • He speaks of destruction to come and shepherding two flocks.  
  • So I [Zechariah] shepherded the flock of slaughter, truly [as the name implies] the most miserable of sheep. And I took two [shepherd’s] staffs, the one I called Beauty or Grace and the other I called Bands or Union; and I fed and shepherded the flock. Zechariah 11:7 
  • They paid Zechariah 30 pieces of silver which he returned to the Lords house. 13 And the Lord said to me, Cast it to the potter [as if He said, To the dogs!]—the munificently [miserable] sum at which I [and My shepherd] am priced by them! And I [Zechariah] took the thirty pieces of silver and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. Zechariah 11:12-13
    When Judas, His betrayer, saw that [Jesus] was condemned, [Judas was [a]afflicted in mind and troubled for his former folly; and] with remorse [with little more than a selfish dread of the consequences] he brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, ... Matthew 27:2-4
  • He speaks about punishing Israels enemies, Israel's cleansing, the nations and Israel's restoration.
  • And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace or unmerited favor and supplication. And they shall look [earnestly] upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn. Zechariah 12:10 Wow what an amazing prophecy.

Zechariah Chapter 14 is an amazing prophecy of the coming of our Lord.  How He will reign over all the earth. Take some time to read and see the picture of His glorious day.


September 16, 2012

256 - Rebuilding programme begins.

Kathleen's thoughts

Ezra 3: 1-13
Psalm 87: 1-7, 84: 1-12, 66: 1-20,107: 1-43

Exiles rebuild the altar By the seventh month, the Israelites had settled in their towns, and the people gathered together in Jerusalem.

In praise of Jerusalem His foundation is on the holy mountains. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said about you, city of God.

Rebuilding of the Temple begins

The priests and Levites praise the Lord When the builders had laid the foundation of the Lord's temple, the priests, dressed in their robes and holding trumpets, and the Levites descended from Asaph, holding cymbals, took their position to praise the Lord, as King David of Israel had instructed. They sang with praise and thanks giving to the Lord; For He is good; His faithful love to Israel endures forever. Then all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord because the foundation of the Lord's house had been laid.

Longing for God's house I would rather be at the door of the house of my God than to live in the tents of the wicked.
He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity.

In praise of God's goodness
A song of praise and thanksgiving. Come and listen, all who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for e. I cried out to Him with my mouth, and praise was on my tongue. If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. However, God has listened; He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer. May God be praised! He has not turned away my prayer or turned His faithful love from me.

For thought and contemplation  This is very important to do each day.
The first thing the children of Israel did when they returned to Jerusalem was to build an altar. Worship, they realised, must come before work. Make a list of the things you have to do today, and before you do them, commit each item to God. You will find life runs better this way.
Come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care... Psalm 95: 6-7


255 - Nehemiah checks the list

Kathleen's thoughts

Ezra 2: 4070
Nehemiah 7: 5-69

The Levites, singers and gatekeepers
The Temple servants and children of Solomon's servants
No proof of ancestry
The exiles' arrival at the Temple
Nehemiah checks the family records Then my God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles, the officials, and the people to be registered by genealogy.
I found the genealogical record of those who came back first, and I found the following written in it.
These are the people of the province who went up from among the captive exiles deported by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Each of them returned to his own town in Jerusalem and Judah. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshus, Nehemiah, Azariah, Taamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Blishan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.
The number of the Israelite men included:
Another list of the exiles
Many contribute to the cost of restoring the Temple

List of priests and Levites In the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the leaders of the families of the Levites and priests were recorded while Darius the Persian ruled. Levi's descendants, the leaders of families, were recorded in the Book of the Historical Records during the days of Johanan son of Eliashib.

Assignment of duties. Theleaders of the Levites - Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua son of Kadmiel, along with their relatives opposite them gave praise and thanks, division by division, as David the man of God had prescribed. This includeed Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, and Obadiah. Meshullam, Taimon, and Akkub were gatekeepers who guarded the storerooms at the gates.
These served in the days of Joiakim son of Jesua son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and Ezra the priest and scribe.

Nehemiah made certain that all who came to live in Jerusalem were there by divine right - hence the painstaking procedure of checking every name . How will it be with you when the time comes for you to enter the New Jerusalem?. Is your name written there?.

Don't rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20


September 15, 2012

254 - The end times

Kathleen's thoughts

Daniel 11: 5-45, 12: 1-13
Ezra 2: 1-39

The kingdoms of Egypt and Syria
The evil king of Syria
He will invade Egypt
Remnant returns (49,897) 536 BC
Prophecy of the Antichrist
The Antichrist's final hour
The end times At that time Michael the great prince who stands watch over your people will rise up. There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred since nations came into being until that time.
But at that  time all your peopled who are found written in the book will escape.
Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to shame and eternal contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens. and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
But you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam about, and knowledge will increase.
Then Daniel,l looked and two others were standing there, one on this bank of the river and one on the other. One said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long until the end of these extraordinary things/ Then I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river.. He raised both his hands toward heaven and swore by Him who lives eternally that it would be for a time. times, and half a time. When the power of the holy people is shattered, all these things will be completed.
I heard but did not understand . So I asked, Mu lord, what will be the outcome of these things?"
He said, Go on your, Daniel, for the words are secret and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified cleansed, and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly none of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand. Fro the time the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 12990 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches 1,334 days. But as for you, go on your way to the end you will rest then rise to your destiny at the end of the days.
The list of the returning exiles the men of Israel
These from various towns
The priests
As I read this today I started to wonder how can I write about all the happening of what the Lord told Daniel. There is so much to ponder on about the Antichrist and what is going to happen in the end times, So I decided just to write by the end times and suggest that those who visit this reading to read Daniel 11 and Ezra.

now this is the confidence we have before Him; whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask we know that we have what we have asked Him for. 1 John 5: 14-15


253 - Daniel in the lions' den.

Kathleen's thoughts

Ezra 1: 7-11, 5: 12-16, 6: 1-18.
Daniel 6: 19-28, 10: 1-21, 11: 2-4

The Temple's vessels returned. King Cyrus released them from the temple in Babylon to a man named Sheshbazzar, the governor by appointment of King Cyrus. He told him, Take these articles, put them in the temple in Jerusalem. and let the house of God be rebuilt on its original site. Then this same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of God's house in Jerusalem. It has been under construction from that time until now, yet it has not been completed.

Cyrus decree In the first year of King Cyrus, he issued a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem.
Let the house be rebuilt as a place for offering sacrifices, and let its original foundations be retained.
The gold silver articles articles of God's house that Nebuchadnezzar took from the Temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon must also be returned. They are to be brought to the temple in Jerusalem, where they belong, and put into the house of God.

Daniel thrown to the lions Daniels was thrown into the lions den because he refused to listen to the ordinance of the king saying that for 30 days anyone who petitions any god or man except you, the king will be thrown into the lions; den.
Daniel refused to do this and He went into his house. The windows in its upper room opened toward Jerusalem and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and give thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
The satraps told the king what Daniel was doing and this saddened the king but had to do what he signed and he had Daniel thrown into the lions den but the king said to Daniel May your God, whom you serve continually rescue you! and sealed it with his ring.
Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting. no deliverance were brought to him, and he could not sleep.

Daniel's deliverance and its result At the first light of dawn the king got up and hurried to the lions den. When he reached the den, he cried out in anguish to Daniel. Daniel servant of the living God, the king said, has your God whom you serve continually been able to rescue you from the lions?
Then Daniel spoke with the king; May the king live forever. My God sent His angel and shut the lions mouths. They haven't Hurst me, for I was found innocent before Him. Also I have not committed a crime against you my king. The king was over joyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den.So Daniel was taken out of the den, uninjured for he trusted in his god.
Daniel's three weeks of mourning
Daniel's vision by the River Tigris
Revelation promised no one has the courage to support me against them except Michael, your prince. However, I will tell you what is recorded in the book of truth.

Revelation of future kingdom Now I will tell you the truth. Three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth will be far richer than the others. By the power he gains through his riches, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. Then a warrior king will arise; he will rule a vast realm and do whatever he wants. But as soon as he is established, his kingdom will be broken up and divided to the four winds of heaven, but not to his descendants; it will not be the same kingdom that he ruled, because his kingdom will be uprooted and will go to others besides them.

In all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us Rom. 8: 37


September 14, 2012

252 - The command to rebuild the Temple.

Kathleen's thoughts
Daniel 9: 1-27
Psalm 102: 1-28, 85: 1-13
Ezra 5: 13, 1: 1-6
2 Chronicles 36: 22-23

Daniels prayer Therefore, our God, hear the prayer and the petitions of Your servant. Show Your favour to your desolate sanctuary for  the Lord's sake. Listen, my God, and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolation and the city called by Your name,. For we are not presenting our righteous acts, but based on Your abundant compassion. Lord, hear Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! My God, for Your own sake, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.

Gabriel's explanation Daniel, I've come now to give you understanding. At the beginning of your petitions an answer went out, and I have come to give it, for you are treasured by God. So consider the message and understand the vision.

The prayer of a troubled young man - Psalm 102; 1-28

People challenged to rebuild the Temple However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, he issued a decree to rebuild this house of God.
This is what King Cyrus of Persia says;: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build Him a temple at Jerusalem in Judah. Whoever among you of His people may go up, and may the Lord his God be with him.

A prayer for deliverance Restore our fortunes, Lord like watercourses in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back wit h shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.

A prayer for the nation's welfare Faithful love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace. Truth will spring up from the earth and righteousness will look down from heaven. Also, the Lord will provide what is good, and our land will yield its crops Righteousness will go before Him to prepare the way for His steps.

The people's response to the challenge. So family leaders of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites - everyone God had motivated prepared to go up and rebuild the Lord's house in Jerusalem. All their neighbours supported them with silver articles, gold, goods, livestock and valuables in addition to all that was given as a freewill offering,

But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved. Eph. 2L 4-5


251 - Belshazzar's feast

Kathleen's thoughts

Jeremiah 51: 36 - 58
Daniel 5: 1-31, 1: 21,11: 1
Isaiah 44: 28

Help for Israel
Babylon's fate Babylon must fall because of the slain of Israel, even as the slain of all the earth fell because of Babylon.

God's message Even if Babylon should ascend to the heavens and fortify her tall fortresses destroyers will come against her from Me. This is the Lord's declaration.

complete destruction of Babylon This is what the Lord of Hosts says...Babylon's thick wall will be totally demolished, and her high gates consumed by fire. The peoples will have laboured for nothing; the nations will exhaust themselves only to feed the fire.

Jeremiah wrote on one scroll about all the disaster that would come to Babylon; all these words were written against Babylon.
Jeremiah told Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. You must say, Lord, You have threatened to cut off this place so that no one will live in it man or beast indeed, it will remain desolate forever. When you have finished reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River. Then say, In the same way, Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the disaster I am bringing on her. They will grow weary.
The words of Jeremiah end here.

Persia the world power
Belshazzar's feast He used the gold vessels from the temple which was taken from the house of God  in Jerusalem. The king and his nobles, wives, and concubines drank from them. They drank the wine and praised their gods made of gold and silver bronze iron, wood, and stone.

The handwriting on the wall At that moment the fingers of a man's hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the king;s palace wall next to the lamp stand. As the king watched the hand that was writing, his face turned pale, and his thoughts so terrified him that his hip joints shook and his knees knocked together, The king called out to bring in the mediums, Chaldean's, and astrologers. He said to the wise men of Babylon.  Whoever reads this inscription and gives me its interpretation will be clothed in purple, have a gold chain around his neck, and have the third highest position in the kingdom.
So these wise men came in, but none could read the inscription or make known its interpretation to him. Then King Belshazzar became even more terrified his face turned pale, and his nobles were bewildered.
Then his wife came in because of the noise... May the king live forever" she said. Don't let your thoughts terrify you or your face be pale.
Then she told him about Daniel. he has an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and perception, and the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems.
Belshazzar calls for Daniel
Daniel's interpretation Then Daniel answered the king. "You may keep your gifts, and give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription for the king and make the interpretation known to him.
Your Majesty the Most High God gave sovereignty, greatness, glory, and majesty to your predecessor Nebuchadnezzar. Because of the greatness
he exalted anyone he wanted and humbled anyone he wanted. But when his heart was exalted and his spirit became arrogant, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken from him.
But you as his successor, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this...Instead you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. The vessels from His house were brought to you, and as you and your nobles, wives, and concubines drank wine from them, you praised the gods made of silver and gold, bronze, Iron, wood, and stone which do not see or hear or understand.
But you have not glorified the God who holds your life-breath in His hand and who controls the whole course of your life.
Therefore He sent the hand, and this writing that was inscribed.

This is the interpretation of the message:
MENE means that God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end,
TEKEL means that you have been weighted in the balance and found deficient.
PERES means that your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

Then Belshazzar gave an order, and they clothed Daniel in purple, placed a gold chain around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 
Darius takes over
Reigns of Cyrus and Darius. Who says to Cyrus; My shepherd, he will fulfil all My pleasure and say to Jerusalem: She will be rebuilt, and of the temple; it's foundation will be laid

Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus. In the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to strengthen and protect him.

For thought and contemplation

There are three occasions in Scripture when God wrote with His finger a special message to me, Can you thing of them? One of course, is found here in the story of Belshazzar's feast. The other two can be found in Exodus 31:18 and John 8:6

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, He adds; I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. Hebrew 10: 16-17


September 12, 2012

250 - The judgement of Babylon.

Kathleen's thoughts.

Jeremiah 50: 9-48, 51: 1-36

Babylon's fall prophesied
Israel's return prophesied
God's judgment on Babylon There is a voice of fugitives and escapees from the land of Babylon announcing in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance for His temple.

It will never again be inhabited or lived in through all generations. Just as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbouring towns this is the Lord's declaration so no one will live there; no human being will even stay in it as a resident alien.

The king of Babylon has heard reports about them and his hands fall helpless. Distress has seized him pain, like a woman in labour.

At the sound of Babylon's conquest the earth will quake; a cry will be heard among the nations.

Further judgment on Babylon I am about to stir up a destructive wind against Babylon.
Sharpen the arrows! Fill the quivers! The Lord has put it into the mind of the kings of the Medes because His plan is aimed at Babylon to destroy her, for it is the Lord's vengeance, vengeance for His temple.

The hymn of praise to God. Jacob's Portion is not like these because He is the One who formed all things. Israel is the tribe of His inheritance, the Lord of Hosts is His name.
The Lord's hammer
Babylon's punishment.

How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night Psalm 1: 1-2


September 11, 2012

249 - Psalms of captivity

Kathleen's thoughts

Daniel 7: 15-28, 8: 1-27,
Psalm 67: 1-7 130:: 1-8, 137: 1-9
Isaiah 13: 17-22
Jeremiah 25: 12-14, 50: 1-8

The meaning of the visions These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will rise from the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever.
The fourth beast that is different from the others, extremely terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, devouring, crushing, and trampling with its feet whatever was left.
I also wanted to know about the 10 horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three feel - the horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly, and that was more visible than the others.
As I was watching, this horn made war with the holy ones and was prevailing over them until the Ancient of days arrived and a judgment was given in favour of the holy ones of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom.

This is what he said: The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down and crush it. The 10 horns are 10 kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings. He will speak words against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals and laws, and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time. times, and half a time. But the court will convene, and his dominion will be take away to be completely destroyed forever. The kingdom dominion , and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey Him.

When I read the above today it made me think of our generation today how they are trying to change the laws to suit themselves and not God's law. Prophesy is God's word and it's all coming true.

Captivity psalms; A song of thanksgiving Beautiful Psalm of thanksgiving. May God be gracious to us and bless us; look on us with favour

A prayer for mercy I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven.

A prayer for help Out of the depths I call to You, Lord! Lord, listen to my voice; O let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help.

The Israelites lament By the rivers of Babylon there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.

Daniel's vision of a ram and a goat This vision is about the end times and what is going to happen. The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true. Now you must seal up the vision because it refers to many days in the future.

Daniel's vision explained This was also given to Jeremiah the prophet. When 70 years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation - this is the Lord's declaration the land of the Chaldean's, for their guilt, and  I will make it a ruin forever. I will bring on that land all My words I have spoken against it, all that is written in this book that Jeremiah prophesied agains all the nations. For many nations and great kings will enslave the, and I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.

Announce to the nations; proclaim and raise up a signal flag. proclaim, and hide nothing.
Say' Babylon is captured; Bel is put to shame; Marduk is devastated her idols are put to shame; her false gods, devastated

Fall of Babylon prophesied. God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found i times of trouble...The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold Psalm 46: 1-11


September 08, 2012

248 - God's dealings with Nebuchadnezzar

Kathleen's thoughts

Daniel 4: 4- 37, 7:1-14
2 Kings 25: 27-30
Jeremiah 52: 31-34

Nebuchadnezzar's second dream. Was bout a beautiful tree with beautiful fruit and on it was food for all wild animals found shelter under it and the birds lived in it's branches.

As i Was lying in My bed, I also saw in the visions of my mind an observer, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He called out loudly cut down the tree and chop off its branches strip leave and scatter the fruit 
But leave the stump in the ground and it's roots and with a band of iron and bronze around it.
In the tender grass of the field. Let him be drenched with dew from the sky and share the plants of the earth with the animals.
Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and let him be given the mind of an animal for seven periods of time.
This word is by decree of the observers; the matter is a command from the hold ones. 
This is so the living will know that the e Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men. He gives it to anyone He wants and sets over it the lowliest. of men.

Daniel's explanation Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was stunned for a moment and his thoughts alarmed him.
The king said, "Belteshazzar, don't let the dream or it's interpretation alarm you."And so Daniel explans the dream to the king. The tree represents the king for he has become great and strong; his greatness has grown and even reaches the sky, and his dominion extends to the ends of the earth.
The King saw an observer, a hold one. coming down from heaven and saying.
Your Majesty, and this is the sentence of the Most High that has been passed against my lord the king;
You will be driven away from people to live with the wild animals.
You will feed on grass like cattle and be drenched with dew from the sky for seven periods of time. until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men. and he gives it to anyone He wants.
As for the command to leave the tree's stump with its roots, your kingdom will be restored to you as soon as you acknowledge that Heaven rules.
Separate yourself from your sins by doing what is right, and from your injustices by showing mercy to the  needy,

Nebuchadnezzar's seven years of Madness  At that moment the sentence against Nebuchadnezzar was executed. He was driven away from people. He ate grass like cattle, Andi's body was drenched with dew from the sky, until his hair grew like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds claws.

Death of Jeremiah 570 BC

Nebuchadnezzar is restored and praises God But at the end of those days, I Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity returned to me. Then I praised the Most High and honoured and glorified Him who lives forever.
At that time my sanity returned to me, and my majesty and splendor returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.  My advisers and my nobles sought me out, I was reestablished over my kingdom and even more greatness came to me.

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise exalt, and glorify the King of heaven, because all His works are true and His ways are just. And He is able to humble those who walk in pride.

Release of Jehoiachin.

Daniel's vision of the four beasts Daniel wrote down this vision...Daniel said, In y vision at night I was watching and suddenly the four winds of heaven stirred up the great  sea. Four huge beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.

The first was like a lion but had eagles wings. I continued watching until it's wings were torn off. It was lifte up from the ground, set on its fee like a man, and given a human mind.

Suddenly another beast appeared, a second one that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one side, with three ribs in it's mouth between its teeth. It was told; 'Get up! Gorge yourself on flesh.

While I was watching another beast appeared. It was like a leopard with four wings of a bird on its back. It had four heads and was given authority to rule.

While I was watching in the nights visions, a fourth beast appeared, frightening and dreadful, and incredibly strong. with large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and it trampled with its feet whatever was left. It was different from all the beasts before it, and it had two horns.

A While I was considering the horns suddenly another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were uprooted before it.
There were eyes in this horn like a man's and it had a mouth that spoke arrogantly.

His vision of the eternal God. As I kept watching, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days, took His seat.
His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of His head like whitest wool.
His throne was flaming fire; its wheels were blazing fire.
A river of fire was flowing, coming out from His presence.
Thousands upon thousands served Him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was convened, and the books were opened.

I watched, then because  of the sound of the arrogant words the horn was speaking. As I continued watching. the beast was killed and its body destroyed and given over to the burning fire.
As for the rest of the beasts, their authority to rule was removed, but an extension of life was granted to them for a certain period of time.

I continued watching in the night visions.
and I saw One like a son of man coming with the  clouds of heaven. 
He approached the Ancient of Days 
and was escorted before Him.
He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that these of every  people nation, and language  should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away. and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed. 

I say Amen, Amen!

Therefore He says; God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. THerefore submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you
James 4: 6-7


September 07, 2012

247 - Division of land

Kathleen's thoughts

Ezekiel 47: 13-23, 48: 1-35, 29: 17-21, 30: 1-19

The land's boundaries And so the Lord shows Ezekiel the divisions and land boundaries of the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Division of land among the tribes
The priests' and Levites" section
The prince's section
Land for the other tribes
The gates of Jerusalem these are the exits of the city;
On the north side, which measures one and a half miles, there will be three gates facing north, the gates of the city being named for the tribes of Israel; on, the gate of Reuben; one, the gate of Judah; and one, the gate of Levi.
On the east side which is one and a half miles, there will be three gates; one, the gate of Joseph; one, the gate of Benjamin; and one, the gate of Dan.
On the south side, which measures one and a hal miles, there will be three gates; one the gate of Simeon; one, the gate of Issachar; and one the gate of Zebulun.
On the west side, which is one and half miles, there will be three gates; one, the gate of God; one, the gate of Asher; and one, the gate of Naphtali.

The perimeter of the city will be six miles, and the name of the city from that day on will be: "Yahweh Is There".

More prophecy against Egypt... The word of the Lord came to me; Son of man, prophesy and say: This is what the Lord God says'
Wail Alas for the day!
For a day is near a day belonging to the Lord is near It will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations . A sword will come against Egypt
They will be desolate among desolate lands, and their cities will lie among ruined cities.
They will know that I am the Lord when I set fire to Egypt and all it's allies are shattered.
So I will execute judgments against Egypt and they will know that I am the Lord.

Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship Romans 12:1


246 - Temple worship

Kathleen's thoughts

Ezekiel 45: 1-25, 46: 1-24, 47: 1-12

The lord's portion of the land
The prince's portion
Weights and measures
The prince's duty
The festivals
Rules regarding worship
The daily offering
The prince's land
Place for boiling the offerings
The stream flowing from the Temple Then he brought me back to the entrance of the Temple and there was water flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the temple faced east. Next he brought me out by was y of the north gate and led me around the outside of the outer gate r that faced the east. The water was coming down from under the south side of the threshold of the temple south of the altar.
Next he brought me out by the way of the north gite and led me around the outside on to the outer gate that faced east; there the water was trickling from the south side.
As the man went out east with a measuring line in his hand he measured off a third of a mile and led me through the water. It came up to my ankles then he measured off a third of a mile and led me thorough the eater. it came up to my knees. He measured off another third of a mile and led me through the water. It came up to my waist. Again he measured off a third of a mile, and it was a river that I could not cross on foot. For the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed on foot.
This water flows out to the eastern region and goes down to the Arabah. When it enters the sea, the sea of foul water the water of the sea becomes fresh.

Here we can see from the above that Ezekiel has been given the insight to all the instructions of worship and offerings for the atonement of sin. They are strict instructions and as we learn from all the readings that God is a God of order and not of confusion. If we obey what the word says it will go well with us and our descendants. 

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24

Blessings Kathleen.

245 - The Lord's return

Kathleen's thoughts

First of all I do apologize for the past 6 days of not being here for those who visit this site. Health issues seemed to have over ridden the PC times I spend here in the word. But hopefully with guidance and love for the word I will catch up and be on track. God bless you!

Ezekiel 42: 1-20, 43: 1-27, 44: 1-31

Two buildings near the Temple
Measurements of the Temple area
The Lord returns to the Temple
The altar
Consecration of the altar
Use of the east gate
The priests

It was a beautiful reading today as God showed and gave Ezekiel the entire measurements of  the temple and what it looks like and the instructions to the priests who descended from Zadok. They are the ones who may enter My sanctuary and draw near to My table to serve Me. They will keep My mandate.
 He gave the instructions to the Levites saying "they must not approach Me to serve Me as priest or come near any of My holy things or the most holy things. Yet I will make them responsibel for the duties of the temple for all its work and everything done in it" 
The Lord gave instructions about their clothing and who they were to marry. A priest may not come near a dead person so that he becomes defiled.
God says "This will be their inheritance; I am their inheritance.
Tithing "The best of all the first fruits of every kind and contribution of every kind from all your gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give your first batch of dough to the priest so that a blessing may rest on your homes".

The Lord returns to the temple. This must have been such a awesome sight for Ezekiel to see the glory of the Lord. 
Ezekiel 43: 1-12...The glory of the Lord entered the temple by the way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
He said to me; "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the Israelites forever.
The house of Israel and their kings will no longer defile My holy name by their religious prostitution and by the corpses of their kings at their high places.
Whenever they place their threshold next to My threshold and their doorposts beside My doorposts, with only a wall between Me and them, they were defiling My hold name by the abominations they committed.
This is the law of the temple; all its surrounding territory on top of the mountain will be especially holy, Yes, this is the law of the temple.

The altar's steps face east.

So we can see here that the Lord enters the temple from the east and also the altar's steps face east as well.

Here is another interesting fact. 
44: 1-3 The man then brought me back toward the sanctuary's outer gate that faced east, and it was closed. The Lord said to me; "This gate will remain closed. It will not be opened, and no one will enter through It because the Lord,. the God of Israel, has entered through it. Therefore it will remain closed. The prince himself will sit in the gateway to eat a meal before the Lord. He must enter by way of the portico of the gate and go out the same way.

The thought and contemplation
Make a point today of reflecting that, in these New Testament times, God's glory does not dwell in temples made with hands, but in the hearts of those who truly own Him as Lord. Are you one of them?

Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God/ You are not your own, for you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in you body.
1 Cor. 6: 19-20


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