Reading: No scheduled reading
Thoughts and Reflection: This is the scheduled day to catch up on your Bible reading for the third week of June in case you may have fallen behind. Though no Bible reading is planned for today, you may wish to consider the following thoughts drawn from this week’s reading.
- It’s hard to imagine, considering the prominence and central role of the temple in Jerusalem for the Jewish people as we read in the New Testament, that it took such great effort to get it rebuilt during the days of Zerubbabel. Many opposing forces and influences had to be overcome. This serves as a fitting reminder that any worthwhile task will likely require persistence to overcome obstacles and opposition. Don’t quit!
- The book of Esther is the only book of the Bible in which God is not explicitly called by name. Yet, in no other book of the Bible is God’s work on behalf of His people any more evident.
- The Bible reminds us that it is in the power of God to exalt man or to bring him low. The case of Haman stands in contrast to that of Joseph. In a single day, Joseph went from a prisoner to the third most powerful man in Egypt, while Haman, also in a single day, went from an exceedingly high and powerful position to being executed on his own gallows. We simply do not know what a day may bring or what God might accomplish.
Wherever You Are, Begin
When Jesus came to earth, the New Testament says it was at “the right time” (Gal. 5:6).
From the vantage point of the return to Jerusalem following captivity and the struggle to rebuild the temple, that must have appeared to be an impossibility. Things looked so bleak. The people were so weak. They were such a small and struggling people with so little to offer. Kind of like how we feel about ourselves sometimes.
Jerusalem and the Jews were not then what they would become. Not that they ever became perfect. The “right time” most certainly involves some other factors than the condition of God’s people and the city of Jerusalem. Even so, they had to start from where they were. They had to rebuild the temple, reestablish right practice of their faith and construct the city walls again. It was a place to start. Eventually, things would be right.
We may not be right now in our own lives where we want to be, what we want to be or who we want to be. Things may not be “right” with us. But they can be. To get there, we have to begin where we are, right now.
So what needs to happen next? It may still be a long way from what will ultimately need to be true, but it’s a place to start. For anyone to reach the destination for which they desire and dream, they must begin where they now are.
And that’s the key, begin.