Forty-two thousand Jews, nearly forty-three thousand have returned home from Babylon, a land by then ruled by Persia. (Others will follow, this is the first returning “wave” of Israelites under the leadership of Sheshbazzar, a little known hero.)
And their first order of business … building an altar where God can be worshipped, sacrifice made in His name, atoning for sin!
Then, and only then, they attempted to build (rebuild really) the Temple of God!
That’s where today’s Verse, today’s Bible Study “thought” comes in …
“Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, BEGAN Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.” Ezra 3:8, I have purposely capitalized one verb in the verse.
Do you see that verb?
“Began,” in Hebrew spelled “chalal,” is translated just that, “began,” 52 different times in the King James Version of the Bible. (One other time it is translated “men began.“)
Just getting started.
This new work of rebuilding such a holy Structure will meet many obstacles.
But at least now it is begun!
What this is, to Judah, is an exciting “new beginning!”
And today I am writing you on December 30, 2017, the next-to-last day of the year. I’ll be preaching, Lord willing tomorrow (several times in Revival, it being Sunday) on the 31st. (Not writing here on the Website … so I need to say this to you all right now.)
Look at 2018 (the Lord willing) as a “beginning,” rather a “new beginning,” for you in your walk with the Lord!
Serve Him the next 52 weeks with fresh energy!
With all your heart … like a runner who was just handed a cool glass of water on a hot day! A second burst of enthusiasm!
Furthermore, BEGIN some new this coming year for your (our) Lord.
A new Bible Study project.
Fresh resolve to read through your whole Bible, all 1189 chapters.
Determination to pray for that missionary every day the sun rises!
(Right now I am trying to obey Hebrews 10:24 … “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” Wow!)
A new habit … not missing a single Church Service all year long … unless sick … in other words, not missing due to some lame excuse!
I need write no more.
Surely the Holy Spirit has “taken over” in your heart by now, offering His Own (though similar, I suspect) suggestions as well.
They (in Ezra’s day) BEGAN to set forward the work of the House of the Lord.
We (in our day) should also BEGIN some great things for the Glory of the very same God!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell