Thursday, July 13, 2017

With Joy

O. T. #1,022  "With Joy"
July 13, 2017
Ezra 6-Part 3
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17


Finally, the Temple was finished. In all the events of the rebuilding, God was at work. He utilized heathen kings to accomplish His will. All that had happened was in His control. Their 4 month journey over 900 miles, sum 20 years earlier, had been worth it. The returning Jews endured a lot of opposition, even being made to stop the construction of the Temple, during the next 20 years. I doubt that thought much about all the sacrifices they made now-building new homes, business, city government, Jewish ways of worshiping God.

The Temple was dedicated with joy. Verse 16 says, And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.

What is joy? Webster's Dictionary describes joy as being happiness and delight.
Need some joy? Jesus will give it, filling our cup up. Last night at Vacation Bible School, we had some children saved. Now that was a joyful time for those teachers who lead them to Christ and for me. All the hours spent in preparation was not considered too much of a sacrifice when all is said and done. Needless to say, we had joy.


The Temple was dedicated with joy. We read of the large amounts of sacrificial animals and 12 goats or the sin offering, one per tribe of Israel, in verse 17.
Five weeks later, the Jews observed the Passover Feast, which was a reminder of the blood of the lambs sprinkled over the doorpost of the Hebrews, so death would not take their first born. Jesus is our Passover Lamb-the first-born, spotlessly without sin, killed in our place for our sins. This took place 900 years after the first Passover in Egypt.
Also, the Jews celebrated the Feast of the Unleavened Bread with joy, for God had turned the heart of the king of Assyria, and strengthened their hands in the work of the God's House.

God can change attitudes, as we see here. He can even use unbelievers for His purpose.
What a chapter! Aren't we glad I didn't miss it?

Look at our key verse today. God is mighty, saves, rejoices, rests in His love, and sings over us.
Can't get any better than that! He fills our heart with joy, love, and singing, too./


Stay faithful to the work God has called me to do.

Wait for His blessings on the work.

Have faith that it will be completed for His glory.

Rejoice with great joy when we see His working.

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