Rebuilding Israel

Tonight (Wednesday, 2/15, 7:00 pm), gather with your Calvary Chapel family in the Holy Grounds Cafe’ or on our website (www.calvaryinv.com

), Facebook, and Youtube (Calvary Inverness) as we continue with our three-year journey through the Bible (Nehemiah 1-4).

Last week we read (Ezra 7-10) when King Artaxerxes favored the Priest Ezra by making a decree, allowing him to receive funds and resources and recruiting those Jews who desired to repatriate to Jerusalem to aid in the rebuilding of the Temple, which had come to a stop for sixty years. Almost five thousand of them made the months-long nine-hundred-mile journey.
Ezra states his reason and purpose for coming to Jerusalem. He writes that he “had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (7:10). He made it his ambition to know God, His law, to obey it, and to teach others. What followed was a much-needed spiritual reformation in God’s people’s hearts that overflowed into their marriages.

Now fourteen years after the reformation that Ezra led, news arrives in Susa, the capital of Persia, that the captives who had returned to Jerusalem were in distress and danger. And the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The news was given to the King’s cupbearer named, Nehemiah.
Nehemiah loved God and his people. However, the news that Jerusalem, a city he had never seen, lay in ruins was more than he could bear. Taking his life into his own hands, he dared show sorrow in the presence of the King. This could have meant certain death, for Kings of that day, much like rulers today wanted to be shielded from the harsh realities of life outside the palace.

But, as Nehemiah later recounted, the hand of God’s favor and grace was upon him. Therefore, King Artaxerxes’s heart was moved with compassion and mercy. He questioned Nehemiah wanting to know what he requested. Nehemiah said a quick prayer and decided to take a risk. He asked the King for food, building materials, and finances and to permit a group of skilled men from among the Jews to return with him to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. The King graciously granted Nehemiah everything he asked for, which set the course for “the third wave” of exiles to return to Jerusalem.

Please pray that this three-year journey through the Word of God will be received by open hearts that long to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Jesus. Moreover, He would do deep and abiding work in and through us for a world in desperate need of a Savior.
In His Strong Love,
Pastor

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