Although each psalm exists as an independent poem, that does not imply that they have no relationship to one another. In fact, the order of the psalms provides insight into the purpose as conceived when collected. Indeed, the division into five books of psalms indicates both the original purpose of each psalm and the timeframe…

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When Nehemiah heard how Jerusalem, the capital city of his homeland, remained in rubble years after the original return from Babylon, he immediately set out to improve it. Petitioning the Persian king for assistance, surveying the damage, and organizing the restoration, Nehemiah quickly changed not only the face of the city but also the hearts…

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Preachers do a number of things in the course of their work. They study, prepare lessons, write articles, counsel, teach classes, and preach sermons, besides visiting and handling a number of administrative tasks. This is correct, as far as it goes. However, far too often, people in the congregation, elders, and preachers themselves view these…

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We are an impatient people. We do not like to wait in lines, wait for our food, wait to check our messages, or wait for something to download. We expect results, and we expect them immediately. We like our senses to be stimulated. Constantly. Just look at how many people are at exciting sporting events…

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After Nehemiah led the children of Israel to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, fend off attacks from their adversaries, and refocus on their spiritual identity as a people, you might think that the work had been completed. The temple had been rebuilt; the walls were now secure. The basic physical structures of Jerusalem had been…

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Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon in 536 B.C. and subsequently released the Jews from their captivity, permitting a portion of them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. This first wave of Israelites faced formidable opposition, and eventually the work subsided due to the political machinations of a contingent who arose to stop them,…

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Following their captivity in Babylon, the Jews faced years of poverty and uncertainty as they slowly rebuilt their lives along with the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. Through the leadership of Ezra they had begun to reinstitute worship according to the Law and reconstitute an identity as the people of God. They had faced…

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For some Christians the church assembly acts as that grudgingly accepted necessity submitted to with reservations as that necessary burden carried until receiving relief from the welcoming arms of death. They come fairly regularly, ritualistically sit in the same pew each week, bow their heads at the appropriate times, mouth the words of some songs,…

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After the Jews under Nehemiah’s leadership had built the walls and hung the gates, they took the steps necessary to inhabit the city. Having appointed gatekeepers, singers, and Levites with their appropriate duties, Nehemiah charged Hanani and Hannaniah with the responsibility of having the entrances to the city guarded for their protection (Neh. 7:1-3). This…

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Throughout my lifetime it seems that the church has been embroiled in a constant battle with error within its own borders as men with an allegiance to something other than truth and someone other than God have infiltrated our pulpits and elderships to purvey a diluted doctrine of self-serving pablum designed to weaken weak and…

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