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16 November - Nehemiah 3; Hosea 13; 1 Thessalonians 1; 2


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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:45 AM

First Portion

Nehemiah 3


3:1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up its doors; even to the tower of Hammeah they sanctified it, to the tower of Hananel. 3:2 Next to him built the men of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri. 3:3 The sons of Hassenaah built the fish gate. They laid its beams, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 3:4 Next to them, Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz made repairs. Next to them, Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel made repairs. Next to them, Zadok the son of Baana made repairs. 3:5 Next to them, the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles didn’t put their necks to the work of their lord. 3:6 Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the old gate. They laid its beams, and set up its doors, and its bolts, and its bars. 3:7 Next to them, Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, repaired the residence of the governor beyond the River. 3:8 Next to him, Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him, Hananiah one of the perfumers made repairs, and they fortified Jerusalem even to the broad wall. 3:9 Next to them, Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 3:10 Next to them, Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house. Next to him, Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs. 3:11 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hasshub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces. 3:12 Next to him, Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters, made repairs. 3:13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the valley gate. They built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and one thousand cubits of the wall to the dung gate. 3:14 Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem repaired the dung gate. He built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 3:15 Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah repaired the spring gate. He built it, and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the king’s garden, even to the stairs that go down from the city of David. 3:16 After him, Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, made repairs to the place opposite the tombs of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty men. 3:17 After him, the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani made repairs. Next to him, Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district. 3:18 After him, their brothers, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah made repairs. 3:19 Next to him, Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, repaired another portion, across from the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall. 3:20 After him, Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 3:21 After him, Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz repaired another portion, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. 3:22 After him, the priests, the men of the Plain made repairs. 3:23 After them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs across from their house. After them, Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah made repairs beside his own house. 3:24 After him, Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another portion, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall, and to the corner. 3:25 Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs. 3:26 (Now the Nethinim lived in Ophel, to the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.) 3:27 After him the Tekoites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that stands out, and to the wall of Ophel. 3:28 Above the horse gate, the priests made repairs, everyone across from his own house. 3:29 After them, Zadok the son of Immer made repairs across from his own house. After him, Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the east gate made repairs. 3:30 After him, Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another portion. After him, Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs across from his room. 3:31 After him, Malchijah one of the goldsmiths to the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, made repairs over against the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the ascent of the corner. 3:32 Between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs.

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:47 AM

Second Portion

Hosea 13


13:1 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling.
He exalted himself in Israel,
but when he became guilty in Baal, he died.
13:2 Now they sin more and more,
and have made themselves molten images of their silver,
even idols according to their own understanding,
all of them the work of the craftsmen.
They say of them, ‘They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calves.’
13:3 Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
and like the dew that passes away early,
like the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the threshing floor,
and like the smoke out of the chimney.
13:4 “Yet I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt;
and you shall acknowledge no god but me,
and besides me there is no savior.
13:5 I knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of great drought.
13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled;
they were filled, and their heart was exalted.
Therefore they have forgotten me.
13:7 Therefore I am like a lion to them.
Like a leopard, I will lurk by the path.
13:8 I will meet them like a bear that is bereaved of her cubs,
and will tear the covering of their heart.
There I will devour them like a lioness.
The wild animal will tear them.
13:9 You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me,
against your help.
13:10 Where is your king now, that he may save you in all your cities?
And your judges, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes?’
13:11 I have given you a king in my anger,
and have taken him away in my wrath.
13:12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up.
His sin is stored up.
13:13 The sorrows of a travailing woman will come on him.
He is an unwise son;
for when it is time, he doesn’t come to the opening of the womb.
13:14 I will ransom them from the power of Sheol.
I will redeem them from death!
Death, where are your plagues?
Sheol, where is your destruction?
“Compassion will be hidden from my eyes.
13:15 Though he is fruitful among his brothers, an east wind will come,
the breath of Yahweh coming up from the wilderness;
and his spring will become dry,
and his fountain will be dried up.
He will plunder the storehouse of treasure.
13:16 Samaria will bear her guilt;
for she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be dashed in pieces,
and their pregnant women will be ripped open.”

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:48 AM

Third Portion

1 Thessalonians 1; 2


1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the assembly of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:2 We always give thanks to God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers, 1:3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father. 1:4 We know, brothers loved by God, that you are chosen, 1:5 and that our Good News came to you not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we showed ourselves to be among you for your sake. 1:6 You became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 1:7 so that you became an example to all who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia. 1:8 For from you the word of the Lord has been declared, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone out; so that we need not to say anything. 1:9 For they themselves report concerning us what kind of a reception we had from you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:48 AM

2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers, our visit to you wasn’t in vain, 2:2 but having suffered before and been shamefully treated, as you know, at Philippi, we grew bold in our God to tell you the Good News of God in much conflict. 2:3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception. 2:4 But even as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, who tests our hearts. 2:5 For neither were we at any time found using words of flattery, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness (God is witness), 2:6 nor seeking glory from men (neither from you nor from others), when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ. 2:7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother cherishes her own children.

2:8 Even so, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not the Good News of God only, but also our own souls, because you had become very dear to us. 2:9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail; for working night and day, that we might not burden any of you, we preached to you the Good News of God. 2:10 You are witnesses with God, how holy, righteously, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves toward you who believe. 2:11 As you know, we exhorted, comforted, and implored every one of you, as a father does his own children, 2:12 to the end that you should walk worthily of God, who calls you into his own Kingdom and glory. 2:13 For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe. 2:14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the assemblies of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus; for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews; 2:15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and drove us out, and didn’t please God, and are contrary to all men; 2:16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always. But wrath has come on them to the uttermost.

2:17 But we, brothers, being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence, not in heart, tried even harder to see your face with great desire, 2:18 because we wanted to come to you—indeed, I, Paul, once and again—but Satan hindered us. 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Isn’t it even you, before our Lord Jesus at his coming? 2:20 For you are our glory and our joy.

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 10:40 AM

16 November 2008

Nehemiah 3
Hosea 13
1 Thessalonians 1; 2

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:31 AM

16 November 2009

Nehemiah 3
Hosea 13
1 Thessalonians 1; 2

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 02:04 PM

16 November 2010

Nehemiah 3
Hosea 13
1 Thessalonians 1; 2

"TO PLEASE GOD WHO TESTS OUR HEARTS"

As Paul and his companions travelled to bring the message of Christ their reception was different in each place. We have had the same experience ourselves. What is very pleasing is that in countries in which we did not expect to have much if any success in teaching the truth about the Bible, some progress has, most remarkably been made. We think of Nepal, then of Bangladesh, then Cambodia and now there is some response to our efforts to spread the truth of God’s word in Burma, time will tell, how much.

Today we are reading Paul’s letters to the believers in Thessalonica and noted his comments in the first chapter that “they received the word in much affliction” [1 Thessalonians 1:6], also how they “became an example … for not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere” [1 Thessalonians 1:7,8] No wonder Paul is so enthusiastic in what he writes!

In the 2nd chapter he recalls; “we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict … we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery … nor with a pretext for greed …” [1 Thessalonians 2:2,4,5]. It is tragic that so often the motive in preaching has been wrong and those with the wrong motive God will judge. Those with the right motive accept Paul’s call to “walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” [1 Thessalonians 2:12]

Finally, we noted the point he made at the end of the 1st chapter – that we “wait for his son from heaven … Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” This reminded us of what we read in Hosea today, the fate of those who have no time for God, ”they shall be like the morning mist or like the dew that goes early away … or like smoke from a window” [Hosea 13:3] to become no more, not even to know they ever existed. We must each ask ourselves, ‘What does God find when he tests my heart?’
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Posted 16 November 2011 - 05:23 AM

16 November 2011

Nehemiah 3
Hosea 13
1 Thessalonians 1; 2

"AND NEXT TO HIM ... AND AFTER HIM"

Our thoughts yesterday finished with Nehemiah rebuking those who opposed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem; these were an Ammonite and an Arab [Nehemiah 2:19], they did not want the Jews to be able to defend themselves. But the Jews set to work – and it was a most remarkable team effort! As we read Nehemiah 3 today we counted 33 individuals and groups who each did their part in rebuilding parts of the wall, noting the words, “and next to him … and after him.” We read, for example, “Jedaiah … repaired the wall opposite his home” [Nehemiah 3:10] Then Shallum, “ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters” [Nehemiah 3:12]; so it was an all out effort with the women helping too!

The gates also had to be repaired and put in place [Nehemiah 3:14,15] The priests also were involved [Nehemiah 3:22], no one was exempt – and is not this the same in building up the “body of Christ”? Nehemiah inspired in them with such a will to work that they completed the work “in fifty two days” [Nehemiah 6:15] despite increasing opposition as we will read tomorrow. Lets consider the spiritual counterpart to all this, we do not have a human Nehemiah urging us on, instead we have our Lord Jesus.

In Hebrews 12 believers are urged to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith …” [Hebrews 12:1,2] In Ephesians 2:21,22 we see that believers are building on the foundation the prophets and Apostles laid - and Jesus is the “cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together …”

Paul told the Corinthians, “Let each one take care how he builds upon it” [1 Corinthians 3:10] and in I Thessalonians which we started reading today, we will read that “since we belong to the day” and not the darkness of this world, “therefore encourage one another and build one another up” [1 Corinthians 5:8,11] Followers of Christ are a team and teamwork is vital!

We have no head but Christ. Sadly those who have strayed from the way the church was ‘built’ in the first Centuries resort to having leaders. We note that Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit was poured out - and he said “these men are not drunk as you suppose” [Acts 2:15] showing that the other 11 were with him and probably also standing up. Peter, although the spokesman at Pentecost, is rarely named alone (see Acts 3:1; 4:13,19). When Peter wrote his epistle he said “I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder” [1 Peter 5:1 – and read the following verses]. So the example of teamwork in Nehemiah is an example for true believers of all ages.
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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:40 AM

16 November 2012

Nehemiah 3
Hosea 13
1 Thessalonians 1; 2

“… BUT TO PLEASE GOD”

A simple – and maybe obvious point – attracted our attention as we read the first 2 chapters of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. What motivates us to do things? What motivated Paul? Today, it can be; to make money, to create an opportunity for enjoyment, some excitement – and other things which centre on ourselves.

Paul makes a simple, yet vital point when he writes, “we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God.” [1 Thessalonians 2:4]

Let us be conscious, as Paul was - and states in his next words – that we, “….please God who tests our hearts.” So man, especially those who have no consciousness of the all-seeing eyes of God and his angels, speak and act with different motives. Paul observes this in the verses which follow; we note the contrast between his motives and theirs. He says, “for we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with pretext for greed – God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others … ” [1 Thessalonians 2:5-6] The extreme opposite of this is seen in those seeking political positions of high office.

Prayerful reading and meditation of God’s word is the antidote for any inclination to do this, notice how Paul was pleased with the believers at Thessalonica over this, writing, “we also thank God constantly … that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as what it really is, the word of God , which is at work in you believers.” [1 Thessalonians 2:13]

May that be happening among us, but it will only happen when we constantly read and reflect and act upon what we are reading so that the thoughts, God has inspired, become part of our way of thinking. We do this “to please God” and, as a result, it becomes true of us also that “the word of God” is “at work in you believers.”
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Posted 16 November 2013 - 08:34 AM

16 November 2013

Nehemiah 3
Hosea 13
1 Thessalonians 1; 2

"AND NEXT TO HIM ... AND AFTER HIM"

Chapter 2 of Nehemiah is about his own return to Jerusalem; it finished with his rebuke to those who opposed the rebuilding of its walls; these were an Ammonite and an Arab [Nehemiah 2:19], they did not want the Jews to be able to defend themselves. But the Jews set to work – and it was a most remarkable team effort!

As we read Nehemiah 3 we counted 33 individuals and groups who each did their part in rebuilding parts of the wall, noting the words, “and next to him … and after him.” For example, “Jedaiah … repaired the wall opposite his home” [Nehemiah 3:10] then Shallum, “ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters” [Nehemiah 3:12] - it was an all-out effort with the women helping too! The gates also had to be repaired and put in place [Nehemiah 3:14-15] The priests also were involved [Nehemiah 3:22], no one was exempt.

This is the same in building up the “body of Christ”! Nehemiah inspired in them such a will to work that they completed the work “in fifty two days” [Nehemiah 6:15] despite the increasing opposition we will read of tomorrow.

Let’s consider the spiritual counterpart to all this, we do not have a human Nehemiah urging us on, instead we have our Lord Jesus. How conscious are we that “he has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” [Hebrews13:5]

In Hebrews 12 believers are urged to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith …” [Hebrews 12:1-2] In Ephesians 2:21-22 we saw that believers are building on the foundation the prophets and Apostles laid - and Jesus is the “cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together …”

Paul told the Corinthians, “Let each one take care how he builds upon it” [1 Corinthians 3:10] and in 1 Thessalonians which we started reading today, Paul says, “since we belong to the day” and not the darkness of this world, “therefore encourage one another and build one another up” [1 Thessalonians 5:8,11]

Followers of Christ are a team and teamwork is vital! We have no head but Christ [Ephesians 4:15]. Sadly those who have strayed from the way the church was ‘built’ in the first centuries resort to having leaders, teamwork among them is minimal, if it exists at all. So the example of teamwork we are reading in Nehemiah is an example for true believers of all ages.
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