SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
“64 The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 65 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred men and women singers. 66 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five, 67 their camels four hundred and thirty-five, and their donkeys six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
68 Some of the heads of the fathers’ houses, when they came to the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God, to erect it in its place: 69 According to their ability, they gave to the treasury for the work sixty-one thousand gold drachmas, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priestly garments.
70 So the priests and the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities” Ezra 2:64-70
“ONLY FEAR THE LORD AND SERVE HIM FAITHFULLY WITH ALL YOUR HEART. FOR CONSIDER WHAT GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE FOR YOU”1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV).
It is good to know that human beings were created with the ability to remember and also forget things. It is good because there are things we need to forget and move on in life. At the same time we need to remember some things which are very helpful and much needed in our relationship with God as well as in other areas of life. For instance, we need to be able to remember God’s word which comes to us through reading and hearing.
It is also very important to remember what we study in school especially if we have to render accounts through examination. It is also important to forget the old and sinful life we used to live before being saved by Christ. It is also important to forget the sins people commit against us and forgive them even as God through Christ does for us.
Unfortunately, many Christians sometimes forget what the Lord did for us after we have been rescued from a crisis situation. In this edition of Spiritual Nourishment we want to look at how the Jews remembered what the Lord did for them and showed their gratitude to Him.
As we mentioned in the previous edition, God set the Jews free from Persia. God also ensured that the Jews got back everything the Babylonians had taken from the Temple of Jerusalem at the time they took the Jews captives. God’s intention was to redeem them from their captivity in order that they would go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
So he set them free through King Cyrus and gave them everything they needed for the rebuilding of the temple. It is because God wanted them to go back and rebuild the temple that he ensured that they were protected and the things taken from the Temple were not destroyed. God had a reason for which he protected those who were set free under Cyrus. Many of the Jews had died within the seventy-year period in exile. Yet many were protected. Males and females, old and young, priests and ordinary people, were all protected by the LORD for some reasons.
This is very important for us to think about because many Christians forget that they are alive for a purpose. Some people do not even know why many are dying while they are still alive. It is important to remember that the LORD has brought us all this far because he wants us to glorify him. We did not die in the year 2013 not because of any good things we did. We did not die because God loves us more than those who died. We are alive because God wants us to shine forth his glory among the nations. We should therefore not live a purposeless life.
WE SHOULD LIVE A PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE AND THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE TO ME IS A LIFE WHICH GLORIFIES GOD. LET US ALL THEREFORE FIND OUT HOW GOD WANTS US TO GLORIFY HIM IN THE YEAR 2014 AND BEYOND, AND WALK AS SUCH.
As the Jews left Persia and embarked on the journey back to Jerusalem and Judea, they never forgot of the fact that God was sending them back to rebuild his house. They kept this on their minds and were willing to do whatever they could to ensure that the reason for which God protected and redeemed them was accomplished. When the LORD safely took them to their land, the leaders offered freely to support the rebuilding of the temple. According to Ezra 2: 66:
“WHEN THE GROUP ARRIVED AT THE PLACE IN JERUSALEM WHERE THE LORD’S TEMPLE HAD BEEN, THE FAMILY LEADERS GAVE THEIR GIFTS FOR BUILDING THIS HOUSE OF GOD AGAIN. THEY WANTED TO BUILD IT IN THIS SAME PLACE.”
This is a clear demonstration that some did not forget what the LORD had done for them as well as why the LORD took them that far. This is something worth emulating! They freely gave in support of the rebuilding of the temple of God. They remembered that had it not been the providence of God, they would not have been able to receive what they received from the Persians. They would also not have been able to go back to their land. Unfortunately, many of us forget what the LORD has done for us and why we are still alive at this moment. We even find it hard sometimes to give what the LORD has blessed us with in support of his work. This is sad because it only shows that we are ungrateful. We do not appreciate what the LORD has done for us and are therefore unwilling to give back what he has given to us for his glory.
As we have been given the opportunity to see the year 2014, let us remember that we are not alive by accident. We are alive because the LORD wishes us to be alive. We are alive because the LORD has reasons for our lives. We should remember that whatever we have, that is our lives, our properties and money all belong to God and they have been given for his glory. We should therefore not forget to offer them freely for his glory.
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.