It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Feast and Devestaton, a reflection on 1 Esdras 1

As I read this book, I thought "History is not told just to satisfy our curiosity about what happened, but, rather, to remind us not to repeat it."

Esdras (another name for Ezra) 1 parallels 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:21, Josiah to destruction--and reconstruction) of the temple.

1 Esdras begins with a Passover feast and describes the generosity of King Josias (aka Josiah) and the people in authority.

We are told that although Josias is upright, many other people are not--a situation that grieves the Lord exceedingly.

Disregarding the words of the prophet Jeremy (Jeremiah), Josias interferes with the Egyptian king's march toward the Euphrates and is killed.

Mourning and lamentation over his death. His son Jeconiah (Jehoahaz) is made king but rules for only three months before being deposed by the Nebuchadnezzar, King of Egypt who puts in his place Jehoaikim, who did evil before the Lord and was captured by Babylon. His son, also named Jehoaikim, is made king. He also did evil, also was taken to Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar next appoints Zedekiah to be king--pattern repeats: did what was evil in sight of the Lord, didn't heed the words of Jeremiah, transgressed the laws of the Lord, the God of Israel. Not just Zedekiah, but also the leaders of the people and the priests committed many acts of sacrilege. When God sent messengers to call them to back to obedience, they mocked and scoffed.

The Lord gave them up to the Chaldeans. The temple was destroyed and plundered.

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