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Monday, September 5, 2016

The Proof of Origins (Ezra 2:59-62)

 "The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel: The descendants of Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda and from among the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai . . .. They searched the family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean."

Family records or registers had to be presented as proof of identity; name alone did not prove Israelite roots. We know that two of the families (Delaiah and Tobiah) married Jewish women but were not of Jewish origin themselves.

In the same way, carrying the name "Christian" or being associated with believers isn't proof of identity. Having your name recorded in the Book of Life and family likeness proves identity. Someone once said that God doesn't have step-children, grandchildren or in-laws. Jesus states that in order to see the kingdom of God one must be born-again--born of the Spirit. So, it's not what you do or who you say you are but whether you have been born-again.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading (Ezra 2:21-70; Nehemiah 7:26-73a):
  • What happened to those (including the priests) who could prove their families descended from Israel?
  • What does reveal about God? About Israel?
  • What was the first thing the people did when they arrived in Jerusalem? 
  • What does this reveal about the mentality and spirituality of the returnees? 
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to reveal areas in your life where you are not trusting Him in, where you are relying upon other things for your identity rather than God.