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September 30, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Zechariah 8-14
Audio: Zechariah 8-14

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Ezra 3 (ESV)

When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem. Then arose Jeshua the son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel with his kinsmen, and they built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. They set the altar in its place, for fear was on them because of the peoples of the lands, and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, burnt offerings morning and evening. And they kept the Feast of Booths, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the rule, as each day required, and after that the regular burnt offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the appointed feasts of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to supervise the work of the house of the Lord. And Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together supervised the workmen in the house of God, along with the sons of Henadad and the Levites, their sons and brothers.

10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,

“For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

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Next: Ezra 4

Back: Ezra 2

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy (Ezra 3:12).

    Weeping and Shouts of Joy

    While it certainly is a time of rejoicing that the temple is being built old men who were old enough to remember Solomon's temple wept. The younger generation had no reference point but the older generation new this smaller temple did not compare with the original. Gone is the ark and also the "Shekinah glory" of the Lord. 

    Haggai 2:1-4 says "In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet: 2 'Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? 4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts.'"

    John MacArthur said in his Study Bible that Psalm 126 might have been written and sung for this occasion. 

    Psalm 126

    "When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
        we were like those who dream.
    2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
        and our tongue with shouts of joy;
    then they said among the nations,
        “The Lord has done great things for them.”
    3 The Lord has done great things for us;
        we are glad.

    4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
        like streams in the Negeb!
    5 Those who sow in tears
        shall reap with shouts of joy!
    6 He who goes out weeping,
        bearing the seed for sowing,
    shall come home with shouts of joy,
        bringing his sheaves with him."

    One of the things I have encountered in my years of ministry is while there are incredible new(er) resources from trusted publishers, there is an overwhelming abundance of junk one must weed through to find gold.

    I was at Barnes & Noble recently and their tiny Bible section had nothing of interest to me at all. Not one book. Of course they sold all the "best-selling authors" but none of them were doctrinally or theologically sound. Not one book focused on the character of God or featured Bible verses expounded on. 

    It was mostly man-centered psycho-babble with Bible verses sprinkled on top (and the verses used are mostly taken out of context). Some authors would be considered false teachers according to the biblical standard of what a false teacher is (preaching a different gospel than taught by the Apostles). But people are always looking to make their lives better and these books certainly aim to provide that. Holiness and godliness may not be the focus but health, wealth and prosperity are certainly crowd pleasers. 

    I find much value in "old dead guys" as one former pastor I served with used to say. I do find Ligonier Ministries (and Ligonier Connect) valuable resources which are more recent as well as John MacArthur (Grace to You), Alistair Begg (Truth for Life) and John Piper (Desiring God) to name of few. These pastors also appreciate writings from old dead guys (especially the writings from the Reformation through the previous century from authors who were focused on being true to God's Word instead of appealing to the masses (who have little interest in God's Word but are fixated on themselves and having the best life now). 

    I'm grateful for the men of God who have helped me learn to discern quality authors, commentators and preachers from the "chaff." And like “many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses” in Ezra’s day, I weep while so many young pastors and teachers are filled with joy at the best-selling “Christian” authors of today. 

  2. I'm just so grateful that I have you to guide me through what I should read and to whom I should listen! It's scary to think how misled I could be, while thinking that it all sounded "right."

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