December 16 – Success Is In God’s Work

“The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build,” – Nehemiah 2:20 (NASB)

In March 445 B.C. Nehemiah follows his contemporary Ezra and together they are the ones who organized the return of the people from Babylon to Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s role was restoration of the city’s walls and defenses. It has been 70 years since the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple of God. True to the prophecy through Jeremiah, God brings the people back. But it is not so easy. The people living in the land were a mix of Israelites from the Norther Kingdom and the people the Assyrians has shipped in from other lands. These are the people who become known as Samaritans and are hated by Jews. They give Nehemiah grief and trouble. Lies and false reports are sent to the Persian king as well as threats of attacks. Sanballat and Tobiah were the leaders of the troublemakers. Nehemiah makes it clear who is the power and authority behind their effort. He declares what is God’s promise to them and instructions to build first the walls and establish order to govern. The walls are completed in September 445 B.C. – seven months. Nehemiah then appointed to serve as Governor by the King of Persia


June 1 – Unconfinable

“But will God indeed dwell with mankind on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built.” –
2 Chronicles 6:18 (NASB)

These words in our verse today were spoken by King Solomon in his prayer of dedication for the Temple which he had built in Jerusalem. This was the first temple built in the nation of Israel. Solomon puts in perspective the omnipresence nature of our God. We know that God has promised to be with us always. So why did Solomon ask if God would really live with men on earth? Of course he was talking about God living in the temple as a house like we do, and being confined to one dwelling – and he was thinking of the Temple he had built. God did let His presence be known in Solomon’s temple. His glory did fill the temple as it had filled the tabernacle in the wilderness. But God was still everywhere else too. His dwelling is with us and with every true child of His throughout the world. We can be glad that the Lord God has promised this to us and we can know with certainty that He is with us today. As we understand the true meaning, we can answer Solomon’s question for God is with us – always and everywhere.


November 29 – Being Satisfied

“Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!” Psalm 65:4b (ESV) 

When David the psalmist wrote these words of praise to God, he was thinking of the blessings which comes to God’s people as they worshiped in the Tabernacle and later the Temple. The psalmist references these places as God’s courts. In the time these places of worship existed, it was the place where God would dwell among His people. It is the Lord God who chose Israel and who choses us and brings us near to him. We can apply these words to our experience of belonging to God’s family today. We are members of God’s household and we experience many good things because of it. As our verse says we are satisfied with the goodness God provides. We need to remember each day and be thankful that we are blessed because we belong to God’s family. He is our heavenly Father and He takes care of us as we live here on earth. If we open our hearts to Him to fill us, he will fill our lives each day with His blessings. Then we can say as the psalmist said, we shall be satisfied and give God the glory for all He has done.