While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, ‘We have never been unfaithful to the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel for our God to send away all these with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do I.’ So Ezra rose up and put the leading priests and Levites and all Israel under oath to do what has been suggested. And they took the oath. (Ezra 10:2-5)

Being Gd’s covenant people, at times, calls us to commit or recommit, as it were our commitment to cleanse our lives from temptation and sin. Once again, the people in Ezra’s book was an example of having to take an extreme measures, in order to get themselves back under God’s control and a members in good standing for the purpose remaining in God’s will.


Precious Abba, as you looked at what You had to work with, you must have shook Your head a few times, wondering if we would ever come to understanding of what it is You desire us to be. We are still Your people, though at times we must look like a herd of sheep, but You are the One who knows what we can be, and though it may hurt us sometimes, You are still willing to work with us and expecting the best from us in spite of our faults. This prayer is intended to open the eyes of readers, to be willing to open our hearts and minds, in a way that is pleasing to You and beneficial to our fellow mankind. So Abba, let’s take a walk from the beginning again, and let’s see just what it is that we missed the first time and try to make a few corrections to the way we live our lives, and treat those around us. This we pray in your Son’s name. Amen


Feel like you are in the dark? Follow the Son.”


All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.” (Psalm 25:10)

Covenant (Hebrew – berith) is associated with two words. Chesed (translated variously as loving, steadfast love, or loving kindness) is God’s love which binds Him to us, His people in covenant relationships. ‘Emeth (translated as faithful, truth, or faithfulness) indicates the Lord’s loyalty to His people. God is the foundation of truth and faithfulness. In the Old Testament chesed and ’emeth are found together only in reference to God. He supremely shows steadfast love and faithfulness. His love and loyalty are unique. The people God has chosen can take heart in knowing God always demonstrates love and loyalty. When things around us seem shaky. God’s throne is sure. We can count on God in the most difficult of times.


“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘God and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem.” ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me thorough the desert, through a land not sown. Israel was hold to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 2:1-3)

Jeremiah referenced two analogies—-those of the bride and the firstfruits —-to teach that Israel was the covenant people of God. Early in Israel’s history, the people loved God as a bride loves her husband and followed him obediently in the wilderness. In resulting years, the people rebelled against God, looking to other “lovers.” The firstfruits belonged to God alone. Any other use of the firstfruits brought judgment upon the owner. As the firstfruits of God’s harvest, Israel was holy to the Lord. The people were set apart for God’s service. His desires that His covenant. People serve Him in a manner like the people of Israel in the earlier period. God’s covenant people are holy to the Lord. We must yield ourselves to His work, beloved.


An oracle: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi. ‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord. ‘But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ the Lord says. ‘Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.’ Edom may say, ‘Thought we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.’ But this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘They may build , but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the lord. You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the Lord—-even beyond the borders of Israel!’” (Malachi 1:2-5)

Mystery surrounds the election of God. One is chosen, and he others is not chosen. God’s graciousness, mercy, and compassion are far above an beyond human understanding. Through election He works freely to achieve His just and loving purposes. Those purpose’s freely are not limited to one people; rather extended to all nations. The ultimate definition of God’s people is the people God in His sovereignty chooses to love. The example of Jacob and Esau, the brothers whose descendants became Israel and Edom, illustrates this.

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