Thursday, October 1, 2015

Focus on His Treasures, Not Your Records

"Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter." (Ezra 5: 17)

When the adversaries of Israel wanted to prevent the Israelites from rebuilding the Temple, they told the King of Persia where to look:

"Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. 14Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king; 15That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed." (Ezra  4:13-15)

Here, we find a type of our old life, our sinful status in Adam, in our fathers before us. Just as the previous Israelite kings fell away from following the LORD and obeying his statutes, so too every man on this earth is alienated from God because of sin, beginning with the rebellion of Adam against God's one commandment:

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2: 17)

The Israelites were initially discouraged by the initial commandment which followed:

"Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. 22Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?" (Ezra 4: 21-22)

but the prophets Haggai (Celebrate) and Zechariah (God Remembers) encouraged them:

"Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. 2Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them." (Ezra 5:1-2)

When the adversaries returned to stop them from building the Temple, they responded that the King should search the treasure house and find the initial decree from King Cyrus.

Today, because of what Jesus has done for us, we do not dwell on our sin, or the sins of our fathers, because Jesus put away all sins:

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2: 13-15)

and alsp

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2: 1-2)

There is no longer any record of our sins, because the blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sin and all unrighteousness (1 John 1: 7)

Instead, we have His righteousness, this treasure of life and peace. Let us no longer look to our record, but His righteousness.

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