Peace on Earth

December 15, 2017. Studies in Nehemiah
Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of heaven: Perfect peace, and so forth. I issue a decree that all those of the people of Israel and the priests and Levites in my realm, who volunteer to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you. And whereas you are being sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, with regard to the Law of your God which is in your hand; and whereas you are to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem; and whereas all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, are to be freely offered for the house of their God in Jerusalem–now therefore, be careful to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. And whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do it according to the will of your God. Also, the articles that are given to you for the service of the house of your God deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem. (Ezra 7:12-19 NKJ)
So, as we close out the week, and our studies in Nehemiah, I want to draw upon some verses from a parallel book, Ezra. As Nehemiah focused on building the walls and hanging the gates, Ezra’s concern was the rebuilding of the temple and establishing the Law.
Let’s put this text in a modern-day context. Artaxerxes, the leader of Iran, tells Israel, to take the priests and Levites, along with gold and silver and rebuild the house of God and bring the Torah back to the land. Unfortunately, neither Iran nor Israel is the people seen here in Ezra. Governments today seek to establish a culture of fear and distrust. You might be a king, queen, president or prime minister, but you are a child of God. Therefore, in your prayer time today and every day, make a degree to share some love and create an atmosphere of peace.

Published by Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.

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