Devotions September

Mal 1-4

September 30, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Malachi is the last of the prophets, probably uttering these prophecies either right before Nehemiah arrives in Jerusalem the first time, or more probably during the time of his visit to Persia before instituting the reforms we saw in Nehemiah 13. He is one of three post-exilic prophets […]

Neh 11-13; Psa 126

September 29, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Now that Jerusalem is a functioning city, some of the Jews that had remained after Jerusalem’s fall want to move in from surrounding rural areas (Neh 11). Nehemiah 13:3-19 probably lists those already living in Jerusalem.  Nehemiah sets up a lottery system allowing one family in ten the […]

Neh 8-10

September 28, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

More than a mere building campaign, this project brings spiritual renewal as the people are in awe of what God has done through them. They assemble in the street and ask Ezra to minister God’s words to them (Neh 8). Standing on a wooden platform to be seen […]

Neh 6-7

September 27, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

The enemy attacks continue, focusing directly on Nehemiah (Neh 6). He refuses an attempt to be distracted from the work. Then Sanballat attempts to discredit him with an open letter designed to cause gossip and division. Failing at that, they then claim to have received prophecy of an […]

Neh 1-5

September 26, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Nehemiah’s brother has just returned from Jerusalem and reports that the city walls still lie in ruins (Neh 1).  The news devastates Nehemiah and he immediately intercedes for his people. An ancient maxim says that a city without walls is no city at all – defenseless. Nehemiah is […]

Ezr 7-10

September 25, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Since the story of Esther occurs chronologically in the time gap between Ezra 6 and 7, we now return to finish the Book of Ezra. The first wave of returning exiles has now completed the temple, but a priest with proper genealogical credentials was needed to fully restore […]

Est 6-10

September 24, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

A sleepless night drives the king to read from the court records – a sure way to be put to sleep! There he discovers how Mordecai saved him from assassination and also that Mordecai was never rewarded (Est 6). He hurriedly asks Haman how to bestow greatest honor […]

Est 1-5

September 23, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

The book named after the main character. The storyline is a conspiracy against the Jewish people. Their climatic salvation here is the origin of the Feast of Purim. The story is set during the reign of Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes) not long after the first wave of Jewish […]

Zec 10-14

September 22, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Not only will the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem be restored, God’s people will also be restored. This is the focus of Zechariah 10 as God proclaims that he, like a loving shepherd, will gather his people from wherever they have been scattered. Chapter 11 […]

Zec 5-9

September 21, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

The vision of the scroll that opens chapter 5 is defined as a curse. Curses in the ancient world possess destructive power. The second vision is that of a woman in an ephah (unit of measure) basket having a talent (unit of measure) of lead as a covering. […]

Zec 1-4

September 20, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

From a priestly family, Zechariah is contemporary with Haggai and the other exiles recently returned from Babylon. While the first part of his book is filled with these visions, the last part (6-14) consists of spoken messages. Zechariah brings future events into sharp detail with many Messianic references. […]

Hag

September 19, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

As learned previously, Haggai ministers among the returned Jewish exiles setting out to rebuild the temple and complements what we read in Ezra. When the work is halted by government order, they grow discouraged and then complacent. For 16 years the work languishes until God uses a change […]

Ezr 4-6; Psa 137

September 18, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

The work begun in chapter 3 comes to a halt here in chapter 4.  The local people that have controlled the area since the exile file complaints with the Persian government from the time that work on the temple began. Eventually work is stopped for 15 years until […]

Ezr 1-3

September 17, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

With Ezra we enter the century of Jewish history following Media-Persia’s defeat of the Babylonian empire. Ezra begins as 2 Chronicles 36 ends, and is a companion book to Nehemiah and Esther. Together they span the reigns of five Persian kings. In Jewish Bibles Ezra and Nehemiah originally […]

Dan 10-12

September 16, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

If we have difficulty understanding this portion of Daniel’s prophecy, we should not be ashamed because Daniel himself is perplexed. He spends three weeks fasting and praying for understanding and God sends an angelic messenger to provide more details. Chapter 11 is an amazingly accurate prophetic account of […]

Dan 7-9

September 15, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

The final 6 chapters of Daniel are futuristic visions, a pictorial representation of history focusing on the history of Gentile nations from Daniel’s time to the coming of Messiah in glory (7:13-14). Chapter 7 gives a series of four beasts representing Gentile empires to come and parallels the […]

Dan 4-6

September 14, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Nebuchadnezzar tells his own remarkable story of an encounter with God that transforms his life (Dan 4). What is so astounding about this is that he is the most powerful man of his generation. He has another dream that Daniel interprets. The immensely proud Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by […]

Dan 1-3

September 13, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Daniel is among the first exiles to go into Babylon, even before Ezekiel. While almost all of the Old Testament is in Hebrew, Daniel 2:4 – 7:28 is written in Aramaic, the international language of the time. The first six chapters are historical, while the final 6 are […]

Joel

September 12, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

We know nothing about the prophet Joel except his name and that of his father. The date in which he lived and recorded this book of prophecy is also uncertain. The inclusion of Joel at this point in our chronological reading is the interpretation of those who make […]

Eze 46-48

September 11, 2015

Devotions September|

What does it say?

Ezekiel 46 continues the futuristic vision of a revived Levitical system in the earthly millennial kingdom to come. We also meet again this individual called the prince, not the Messiah but an earthly leader of Israel in the future.

Chapters 47 and 48 describe topographical aspects of […]