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Bring the Book!

After their seventy long years of captivity, God had instructed Cyrus, king of Persia, to release the Israelites from their bondage and allow them to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2-4).

According to the second chapter of Ezra, thousands of committed Jews had put their hands to that noble task, and miraculously completed the work, in spite of fierce opposition from neighboring countries.  However, a restored building was not the only thing that the God of Israel was interested in.  He also wanted to restore His people that had been alienated from Him and His ways for so long. 

For any struggling community, church, family, marriage or individual to be restored, godly principles must be made known, and then applied to each situation.  This comes by the preaching and teaching of God's word.  "God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe"      (I Corinthians 1:21 NRSV).  And for that purpose, God raised up a man by the name of Ezra, a scribe, who "had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel" (Ezra 7:10). That, is an excellent example that every Pastor should emulate. First, study it. Second, do it. Third, teach it.

After Israel restored the temple (and the wall) of Jerusalem, we read these encouraging words from the book of Nehemiah, "all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate.  They told the scribe Ezra, to BRING THE BOOK (emphasis mine) of the law of Moses..." (Ezra 8:1 NRSV).  Ezra did just that, he brought the book, taught the people, and everyone was blessed and bettered by it! 

This piece of biblical history shows us what can happen when a preacher remains faithful to the truth, and a faithful people desire and cry out for truth.

What a blessing it has been to pastor a church that hasn't been interested in the creeds or traditions of men, but their desire has been for me to BRING THE BOOK! 

 

Pastor Michael West 

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