July 16 – 22

This is not meant to be a beating, but rather a tool to give you some help in reading and understanding God’s word.  If you miss a day, and can “catch up: by doubling up, then sweet.  If you can’t read on certain days, adjust the schedule to fit your life.  I think you will find the schedule pretty easy to maintain if you keep just a bit of discipline.

With that said…………….

This week’s reading:
July 16
: Esther 1 – 3
July 17: Esther 4 – 6
July 18: Esther 7 – 10
July 19: Job 1 – 2
July 20: Job 3 – 5
July 21: Job 6 – 8
July 22: Job 9 – 11
July 23: Job 12 – 14

July 9
: Ezra 1 – 4
Ezra 1 opens with the Israelites being allowed to return to Jerusalem and restore worship to God.  (Note: After decades of exile, the Israelites are returning to the land God has promised.  They are blessed with the articles removed from the Temple as God is restoring His people and their worship.)
Ezra 2 lists those returning. 
Ezra 3 outlines the restoration of the sacrifices and the Temple work. 
Ezra 4 recounts the hardships encountered. 
July 10: Ezra 5 – 8
Ezra 5 resumes the work on the Temple and again a question of the king.  (Note: Even in their return Israel experiences trials.  The faith of the people of God will always be tested, even as God is restoring His people.)
Ezra 6 blesses the work and the Temple is completed.  (Note: The reminder of God’s deliverance is celebrated by those whom God has delivered.  I’m sure the irony was not lost on those “builders”; God is a God of patience and perseverance, His people, by His grace, should be the same.)
Ezra 7 begins Ezra’s personal trip to Jerusalem.  (Note: Being blessed by God, through the king, Ezra will bring knowledge and teaching of the Law of God to Israel.  Also, the work of Ezra is 90 years after the initial returnees described in the beginning chapters of the book.)
Ezra 8 lists those who returned with Ezra and the work upon arrival.
July 11: Ezra 9 – 10
Ezra 9 brings to light the sins of the people and the prayer of confession.  (Note: This may seem odd in our world, but this is not about racism or prejudice.  Israel was to be a holy & pure people; if not, they would fall into idolatry.  To be on the other end of an exile and enter into the same “mixing” that will lead to idolatry and sin is foolish at best.  Ezra leads the people in confession and repentance.)
Ezra 10 brings closure to the matter.  (Note: The sin of the people was exposed and put before the nation; only then could it be rightly dealt with.  This again may seem odd to us, but the people of God should be able to openly: admit, confront, and deal with sin of our fellow believers.)
July 12: Nehemiah 1 – 4
Nehemiah 1 begins with Nehemiah’s concern for those returning to Jerusalem.  (Note: Nehemiah is a contemporary of Ezra, who will become governor of Judah.)
Nehemiah 2 has Nehemiah travel to Jerusalem and inspect the city walls.  (Note: There was such difficulty in restoring the Temple, that after nearly a century, Jerusalem was still a wreck.)
Nehemiah 3 details those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. 
Nehemiah 4 shows again interference for the work of the returned exiles.
July 13: Nehemiah 5 – 7
Nehemiah 5 details the reform work of Nehemiah.  (Note: As did Ezra, Nehemiah, will not let the sin of the people go on unchecked.  Israel is to be a pure and holy people; her leadership should pursue that as Nehemiah does according to the Law.)
Nehemiah 6 completes the wall building and shows the smarts of Nehemiah.  (Note: The wall was completed very quickly, a testament to Nehemiah’s efforts and God’s working among the people.)
Nehemiah 7 contains the census of the returned exiles.
July 14: Nehemiah 8 – 10
Nehemiah 8 has the Law read and the festivals restored. 
Nehemiah 9 is the prayer of confession and a covenant of the people.  (Note: As the Israelites in the desert, this group covenants with God.)
Nehemiah 10 signs the covenant and details it. 
July 15:  Nehemiah 11 – 13
Nehemiah 11 lists the provincial leaders in and around Jerusalem. 
Nehemiah 12 lists those who returned with Zerubbabel and the dedication of the wall.
Nehemiah 13 is Nehemiah again dealing with the sin of the people.  (Note: Sin is ever present; part of the point of the Old Testament is to see the failure of a people as they try and be the people of God on their own.  Israel failed repeated; and the only hope is the New Covenant promised by Jeremiah.)