Thoughts on Ezra 8:24-35
Ezra’s body of travelers now duly assembled and organized, what else was
required? On the one hand, they were in a condition of much danger.
Without being very numerous, they were numerous enough to be worth
attacking while prosecuting their journey. On the other hand, they were in
a position of much responsibility, being entrusted with the care of many
treasures for God’s house. These were the two things Ezra had to see to
before they actually moved. The plans he adopted in doing so are very
characteristic and instructive, and may be employed to exhibit to us, in the
first place, an example of courage, and in the second a model of caution.
Gifts for the Temple
Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kin with them. And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God that the king, his counsellors, his lords, and all Israel there present had offered; I weighed out into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and one hundred silver vessels worth . . . talents, and one hundred talents of gold, twenty gold bowls worth a thousand darics, and two vessels of fine polished bronze as precious as gold. And I said to them, ‘You are holy to the Lord, and the vessels are holy; and the silver and the gold are a freewill-offering to the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and the Levites and the heads of families in Israel at Jerusalem, within the chambers of the house of the Lord.’ So the priests and the Levites took over the silver, the gold, and the vessels as they were weighed out, to bring them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God.
The Return to Jerusalem
Then we left the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem; the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes along the way. We came to Jerusalem and remained there for three days. On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver, the gold, and the vessels were weighed into the hands of the priest Meremoth son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. The total was counted and weighed, and the weight of everything was recorded.
At that time those who had come from captivity, the returned exiles, offered burnt-offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and as a sin-offering twelve male goats; all this was a burnt-offering to the Lord.
O Morning Star, thank You for watching over me as I
slept last night. As I greet this day, bless my thoughts,
words, and deeds so that they bring glory to You. You
know all of my weaknesses and where Satan can tempt
me. Be with me so that I can withstand his efforts with
the strength You give me. Draw me to You so that I can
walk in Your ways and show those whom I encounter
today Your love and mercy. Continue throughout the day
to mold me in Your image so that I remain faithful to
Your Word. Amen.
Dear Lord, thank You for being with me throughout
this day. You are my joy as I rest this evening. Give me
peace in all that I do as I serve my family and neighbors
through the gifts You have given me. May I have the
privilege to share Your love and grace with someone
during this week. As I study Your Word, let me gain a
greater understanding, that I might have confidence
and assurance in the salvation provided for me through
the innocent suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
I take my rest in You and look forward to another day.
Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.
Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
Almighty God, merciful Father, hear me as I pray in Your
Son’s name this day. Thank You for waking me this morning
to another glorious day as Your child. As I approach
the tasks for this day, provide me peace and strength so
that the relationships I encounter will be guided by You
and Your Word. Bless parents as they lead and form their
children in the life of faith. Give them patience and peace
as they face their daily concerns and needs. Let them see
how You are with them as they study Your Word. Guide
children to have obedient hearts and serve their parents
and You in all they do. Amen.
God the Father, who has created me; God the Son, who
has redeemed me; God the Holy Spirit, who has made
and kept me as Your child, I thank You for the countless
blessings You shower on me. I am humbled to know and
confess that all Your blessings have been given to me
without any merit or worthiness on my part. Forgive
me all the sins I have committed today. Send Your holy
angels to protect me and my loved ones from all harm
and danger. Grant me proper rest so that tomorrow I can
have the privilege to serve You. I rest at peace knowing
You are always with me. Amen.
Thoughts on Hosea 1:2-10
The three children of the prophet by Gomer symbolize at once a degree of
sin and a period of suffering. The forefathers of Israel had been idolaters in
their native laud and in Egypt, as we learn from the admonition of Joshua
(Joshua 24:14), “Put away the gods which your fathers served on the
other side of the flood, and in Egypt.” But God took them into covenant
with himself at Sinai; this new relation may be represented by the prophet’s
espousing at the Divine command Gomer, notwithstanding her previous
impurity and lewdness. But though God took the people of Israel into such
a close and endearing relation to himself, yet their posterity, instead of
proving themselves children of God, often forsook God and fell into
idolatry, this apostasy of the descendants through succeeding generations is
embodied by the children of immorality which the prophet had by a wife of
immorality. So with ourselves tainted by original sin; we are stained by
many actual transgressions. “Sin,” it has been well said, “is contagious,
and, unless it is cut off by grace, hereditary.”
2When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take for yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.” 3So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4And the Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for in a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” 6She conceived again and bore a daughter. Then the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have pity on the house of Israel or forgive them. 7But I will have pity on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God; I will not save them by bow, or by sword, or by war, or by horses, or by horsemen.”
8When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. 9Then the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people and I am not your God.” 10Yet the number of the people of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which can be neither measured nor numbered; and in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.”