Monday, March 07, 2016

March 7, 2016: “Respectfully Yours, …”

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 67  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Kendrick Graham singing, Meekness and Majesty,… declaring, in song, the reality of the God-Man, King Jesus, our Lord and Savior, … the One we bow down in ultimate respect to worship as our Messiah.

Highlight Passage:  Ezra 5: 17 [NKJV] …  
17 Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, let a search be made in the king’s treasure house, which is there in Babylon, whether it is so that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send us his pleasure concerning this matter. 
 … We note the respectful tone of the letter from the Babylonian Governor [possibly Zerubbabel with a Babylonian name changed to “Sheshbazzar”] on behalf of the Israelites, directed to King Darius, citing their rights to rebuild coming from the former Babylonian King, Cyrus.
Highlight Context – Ezra 5:1-17; 6:1-12 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… To rebuild the Temple and the walls amongst Babylonian authority, permission for the Jews to rebuild had to be granted from Darius the current Babylonian ruler; … thus a letter was written to him for permission from those desiring to rebuild the Temple. And we note that Darius not only gave permission; but offered to pay for the project (see Chapt 6).

Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 5:38-42 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus’ kingdom teaching about dealing with those who might smite us … or those in authority who unjustly treat Christians.

Reference Passage #2 - Romans 13:1-7 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  
… God’s teaching, thru Paul, on how Christians should deal with Governments established by God.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Dave Branon, taught today about His chosen ones, or for us Christians, to deal with those in authority; and he illustrated his teaching by using the time when the Jews, under Ezra and Nehemiah, were granted permission to rebuild the Temple by the Babylonians. He wrote … However, the governor of their region was not sure they should be doing that, so he sent a note to King Darius (Ezra 5:6-17). … In the letter, the governor says he found the Jews working on the temple and asks the king if they had permission to do so. The letter also records the Jews’ respectful response that they had indeed been given permission by an earlier king (Cyrus) to rebuild. When the king checked out their story, he found it to be true: King Cyrus had said they could build the temple. So Darius not only gave them permission to rebuild, but he also paid for it! (see 6:1-12). 

In the letter (in Ezra, Chapter 5), we note how the designated Governor, wrote VERY RESPECTFULLY to King Darius; and we see (in Ezra, Chapter 6) the result of how treating one in authority with respect yielded a respectful response. Now, this may not always happen, e.g., when those in authority are tyrants with no moral compass. However, as pictured in the attached photo, one certainly should do all one can to generate respect so as to expect respect in return.

And as I read this ODB entry today, I couldn’t help but think what is going on in our political arena today; … how disrespect and harshness generates likewise from one presidential candidate to another. The whole mess - and it is a big mess!!! - would very likely not be taking place if these men would follow the teaching of our Savior (from His Sermon in Matthew 5) or the Apostle Paul’s teaching (in Romans 13).

Openly expressed disrespect from one to another so often bends the ego of the one disrespected; and as we see in this ludicrous 2016 presidential campaign, both sides cannot find the humility to treat the other with the meekness ALWAYS exhibited and taught by Jesus. The only time we ever see Jesus break from that in open disrespect was when He often confronted the Pharisees, whom He saw desecrating the image of God, the Father. Then, and only then, in righteous anger, we see Jesus using even civil disobedience when he purged the Temple of the con-men disrespecting God. But what we need these days is more of what is sung in today’s song, linked above, … a lot more of the meekness and majesty exhibited by our Savior.

But God’s word is clear on how we generally should treat those in authority who are the leaders whom God has allowed to rule in our lives, such as the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. We can just hope and pray that civility and Christian respect will once again rule soon in our land. If not, it’s going to be a rough ride ahead!!

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … I know others of Your remnant, such as yours truly, are praying for the civility of Christlikeness to return to our world. … Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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