Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

To Whom Do We Belong?

Ezra 5:11

We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth,

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgMy aunt did extensive genealogy when she was with us. In my basement I have notebook after notebook of our family’s records – my father’s side of the family. I found out that one of my ancestors was royalty from England for instance (you can bow later). I know if I searched her records enough I would also find a horse thief or some other scandalous fellow or gal.

Knowing where we come from is important – or at least has some importance. One of my favorite counseling sayings is – we are a product of our environment. We are a product of the people and things around us as we grow. For example – most people grow up to like the same team our mom or dad liked or we drive the same brand of vehicle. Many of us are in the same denomination as our parents. This is not always the case – but I imagine most of us can find some things in our life that match our parents.

Let’s look at today’s passage in partial context. Ezra 5:6-17 – This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates, the governors who were in the province Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king. They sent him a report, in which was written as follows: “To Darius the king, all peace. Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands. 9 Then we asked those elders and spoke to them thus: ‘Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?’ 10 We also asked them their names, for your information, that we might write down the names of their leaders. 11 And this was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But because our fathers had angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia. 13 However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt. 14 And the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, these Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; 15 and he said to him, “Take these vessels, go and put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its site.” 16 Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it has been in building, and it is not yet finished.’ 17 Therefore, if it seems good to the king, let search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by Cyrus the king for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. And let the king send us his pleasure in this matter.”

When challenged – the people of God spoke up and said – we are the servants of the God of heaven and earth. They were a product of their faith – of their God – and they were not afraid – or at least didn’t shrink from the facts when asked. They had faith to stand for their God in the face of adversity. To Whom do we belong dear readers? Are we the Lord’s or are we the world’s?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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June 13, 2014 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal | , ,

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