EZRA 7:1-8:20 | 1 CORINTHIANS 4:1-21 | PSALM 30:1-12 | PROVERBS 20:28-30
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We continue in the book of Ezra, and following the first six chapters, it appears that this seventh chapter is a retelling of the same story of the Persian kings allowing the Jewish people to return to their homeland of Judah and rebuild the Temple. Not only were the people allowed to return, but the Persian kings also provided the resources for this big restoration project.
In this retelling, Ezra identifies himself as the direct descendant of Moses from the priestly tribe of Levi, and recounts the history of his people—from captivity and exile into their homeland, to the rebuilding and restoration of the glory of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Turning now to our reading in Paul’s first letter of Corinthians, we find Paul talking about the nature of true apostleship. Paul advises against being too hasty to render judgment upon one another, and says this: 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
Paul goes on to tell the young church in Corinth that he will be visiting them soon, but first he commends to them Timothy, a young man who has evidently trained and traveled with Paul, and it is this young man who will visit the Christian Corinthians before Paul’s visit.
Turning now to our psalm of the day, we find one in which David, the psalmist, is offering up unabashed praise for God’s mercies. May it be that like David, we also would be reminded of God’s goodness, and be quick to offer similar praise:
4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
And again, David says,
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
Finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs, in which Solomon, the wise king of Israel, is pointing out the difference between the young and old:
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
gray hair the splendor of the old.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.