Leaders from the families of Judah and Benjamin took the initiative. The priests and Levites were also among the first to head back to Zion. When God inspired Cyrus to proclaim freedom, the same divine influence moved both the political and pastoral leaders among the people of Israel to seize the opportunity (Zechariah 4:6). Despite tempting reasons to stay in …
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Leaders from the families of Judah and Benjamin took the initiative. The priests and Levites were also among the first to head back to Zion. When God inspired Cyrus to proclaim freedom, the same divine influence moved both the political and pastoral leaders among the people of Israel to seize the opportunity (Zechariah 4:6). Despite tempting reasons to stay in Babylon (familiarity, connections, and the challenging journey) some overcame these obstacles. Their spirits, uplifted by God, were fueled by a desire for freedom and love for their homeland – a love for their heritage. In order to achieve the rebuilding of Israel’s heritage, God not only stirred up the heart of a foreign king (Cyrus – likely an unbeliever), but he also divinely inspired a native leader of Israel, one who had despised Babylon from his youth (Zerubbabel – a believer).
“Judah had a prince, even in captivity. Sheshbazzar, supposed to be the same with Zerubbabel, is here called prince of Judah; the Chaldeans called him Sheshbazzar, which signifies JOY IN TRIBULATION; but among his own people he went by the name of Zerubbabel—A STRANGER IN BABYLON; so he looked upon himself, and considered Jerusalem his home.” -Matthew Henry
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Unity of knowledge is not a politically correct concept, especially when it comes to claims about knowing anything about the Son of God. Plenty of churches desire unity when it comes to “common care,” but few churches desire unity when it comes to “common convictions.”
What was on the mind of Christ right before he came into the world?
We don’t merely need the peace of God, we need the God of peace. The key to overcoming anxiety is believing that “the Lord is at hand.” But what will the Lord do when he is with us? Will he give us the money we need? Will he thwart the plans of the person who is trying to harm us? …
Christ is praying for all his people, and his prayers never fail.
Pagan meditation seeks to suppress the analytical side of the mind and focus on the feelings and of the heart, while Christian meditation is so rational, it can actually cause us to regularly contend with our hearts. Christians don’t follow (or listen) to their hearts, we preach to our hearts.
Like Jacob the Patriarch, real men wrestle with God. They don’t pick fights with someone half their size.
A primer on the doctrine of assurance of salvation.
Christians must learn to meditate, but not like the pagans. There’s a massive difference between the two.
In the second half of verse 2 of our text, John says that Jesus is the propitiation, “not for our [sins] only, but also for those of the whole world.” This little phrase has sparked a lot of theological controversy. Those who oppose the Reformed (Calvinist) view of salvation say that this verse refutes the doctrine of “limited atonement” – …