Oh boy we are rocking and rolling now. We have studied through the timeline to the point of the Exile. The Israelites have been exiled by God because they did not follow His Commands. As we journey through the rest of the “history” section of the Bible, we are going to get insider information on what life was like after the exile, deeper looks into what life was like before the exile, and deeper theology about the portion of the timeline we have studied so far. Tuck in, you will love it!
The first two leaders we will read about are Ezra and Nehemiah. These guys were part of the return from exile. The Exile happened in three stages and the return happened in three stages. The first one was led by a dude named Zerubbabel, the second led by Ezra and the third led by Nehemiah. Ezra and Nehemiah’s purpose for writing was a historical one for sure. Ezra writes about Zerubbabel. I am not sure why Zerubbabel did not write his own account, I assume he was like me in college and if someone else was willing to write my term paper I was all for it my only question was, “How much?” Anyway, they alos wrote to encourage the remnant of faithful Israelites to follow the Lord. As we will see, Ezra and Nehemiah do what amounts to “herding cats” to get these people to understand what God wants them to do. Bless their hearts. Anyone who has raised toddlers knows how these guys feel.
As we read today the Lord is on the move in the hearts of His people. The Exile is over, and He is stirring them to go back to the Land He promised them. Enjoy your time in these books. I am out for the next two weeks but you are armed with the context you need to understand these books, not to mention the Holy Spirit who lives in you to teach you about God.
1 Corinthians 1: 18—2: 5
The message of the cross is foolish to the unbelieving world. They don’t understand what we are trying to do and think we are dumb Christians. The same was true for the Corinthians.
Remember, whenever Paul hits something hard and is driving a point home the reason is because whatever “it” is, is rampant in the church he is writing to. In this section he is talking about how we have to be wise in God’s eyes and not the world. To me it seems that someone has come into the Corinthian church and started some sort of fancy debate that has confused the church. Some sort of human wisdom has taken hold of the church and they are following that instead of God’s wisdom. The church has started boasting about what teacher they follow as we read yesterday and today Paul is correcting that wrong thinking. He warns them, no one can boast in the presence of God. He is telling them that when he shared the message with them, He relied on God to move them instead of fancy talk. He does that on purpose, so they don’t love him over Jesus.
This happens to us today folks. Some smooth-talking teacher will come on the scene and they may even really want you to follow Jesus. But because we are bent toward this, thanks to our sin nature, we follow the teacher instead of Jesus. The teacher will disappoint you because their humanness will eventually let you down. Guess what, Jesus will never let you down. Give up the slickness of the communicator and stick with the one who actually has the power to save you.