2020-11-23

Psalm 106 and Ezra 6

Psalm 106:1-48

Two weeks ago we read Psalm 104 regarding God’s acts in creating the world. Last week we read Psalm 105 which meditated on God’s acts in continuing history and today we will read Psalm 106, which focuses on human sin.

Chris Tomlin has recorded a beautiful worship song called ‘Forever’. The lyrics quote scripture and verses from this Psalm are some that are used. I encourage us all to find it on YouTube and worship the LORD in song today as He is ‘Forever’ and the solution to all our sin.

Verses 1-3 Praise to God and steadfast love!

Verses 4-5 The writer knows God will aid His people and prays for his personal aid.

Verse 6-39 – WE have sinned and here begins the list of the Israelites’ deliberate and consistent sin against God. Their sin shadows our own. Below are a few of the sins against our Father given in the Psalm. We will all relate to items on this sobering list. I am stating them in present tense.

  vs 7 – We do not remember His steadfast love and rebel.
  vs 13 – We forget His works and do not wait upon Him.
  vs 14 – We test God.
  vs 16 – We are jealous of others.
  vs 19 – We worship idols and false gods.
  vs 21 – We forget our Savior and His works.
  vs 24-25 – We despise what He has given us and murmur against Him.
  vs 28 – We yoke ourselves to evil things and commit evil acts.
  vs 33 – We do not trust God for our survival.
  vs 34 – We allow others who do not know God influence our behavior. We do as they do.
  vs 37-39 These verses are very harsh and yet sadly very true. I will leave you to your own reading here.

Verses 40-43 – God’s anger and its consequences led to captivity of the Israelites. We too become captive – in our sin.

Verses 44-48 – HOPE!! – God hears our distress calls and remembers, rescues and redeems His people.
‘Save us, O Lord our God’, gather us and we will give thanks to your Holy name and praise you!
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel and us – from everlasting to everlasting.
Let us all say: ‘Amen! Praise the Lord!’
I am reminded of Tomlin’s song again.

Ezra 6:1-22

Darius’ Decree, The Temple Finished and Decorated, Passover Celebrated.

Remembering the Saving God we just studied in Psalm 106, we now read Ezra 6: The God of Israel had again heard the cries of Jewish exiles and though they were still under Persian rule, their Sovereign God was continuing His redemptive work and reestablishing true worship among them.

Verses 1-12 Darius’ Decree: King Darius ordered a search for the records of King Cyrus, and the official record was located. Cyrus had issued a decree regarding the house of God and its rebuilding. Darius affirms this temple construction and reinforces it with a strongly worded decree of his own. Provision was made for the continuing temple services and God’s people were granted irrevocable support in the rebuilding. The re-gathering of the Israelites continued.

Verses 13-18 The Temple Finished: Haggai and Zechariah prophesied/ preached to the people and the people were moved to start the work again and complete it.
(It is good when we listen to our Pastors sharing of God’s Word. God will use the words of His servants to teach and motivate us.)
The temple was finished four years after the work was begun and almost exactly 70 years after the Solomonic temple was destroyed in 586. Sacrifices were made and in particular, a sin offering was given, indicating the Israelites had an awareness of sin and faith in God who keeps His covenant of love.

Verses 19-22 The Passover Celebrated: What an amazing time this must have been! The exiles celebrated the Passover and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy for the Lord had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided in the work of the house of the God of Israel.

In closing, these scriptures remind of us of how lost (full of sin) we are and how much God desires to find (save) us. He moves nations and kings, preachers and people to bring us to worship Him. He is our Creator and Savior and worthy of all worship. I pray His sanctification process makes us more like Him every day as we study His Word. Praise be to the Son, the Father and Holy Spirit who love us and work in us. —- Mary Mauderer

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