Trina's Journaling Blog
This is Pastor Trina's Journaling Blog. You can follow along with Pastor Trina as you do your own Journaling. You can access the Life Journaling Bible Reading plan under the Life Journal Button in the Extra's section of the Grace Point Website.
S – Ezra 5:3-5 3Then Tattenai, governor on the west side of the [Euphrates] River, and Shethar-bozenai and their companions came to them and said, “Who authorized you to build this house and to restore this wall?” 4Then we told them [in reply] the names of the men who were building this building.
5But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so the enemy could not make them stop until the matter came before Darius [I] and an answer was returned by letter concerning it.
O – Once again there is opposition to completing the rebuilding of the temple. Here comes yet another person, another governor, trying to get in good with the pagan (secular) ruler – king Darius, who “tattles” on the Israelites; “Who said you could rebuild this temple?” God was in it all – protecting and guiding, and the Jews just keep moving forward.
A - The answer that the elders of the Jews give is very interesting (verses 6-17). Once again someone comes up and tries to stop the rebuilding. I can imagine that this opposition caused some fear and panic in the hearts of the Jews, but the elders recount the story of Israel’s sin (which caused the destruction of the temple in the first place) and calmly requests that the secular ruler check the story. Maybe calmly, maybe not, but it came across that way. Not only did the “non-believers” find that the order to rebuild did in fact come from king Cyrus, but king Darius added to decree. (That will teach the governor to tattle!). So what is in all of this for me? What strikes me is how again and again the Jews remember their sin and their past. There is power and honor in remembering. In our society there is such a belief that the past should stay in the past and we should not dwell on it. We so often wish that God would just perform a lobotomy and erase our painful memories. There is so much trauma that people re-experience and that re-experiencing continues to cause them harm. We think that leaving it in the past is the best way to deal. I often hear people say – “I’ve moved on and there is no need to bring that (painful memory) up again.” There are also those Christians who believe that there is no need for psychology or examining the past because the Bible tells us that we are new creatures in Christ and that old things have passed away. However, forgetting or never remembering is not the example that God gives us throughout the Bible. The Jews kept painfully detailed records. While they were in captivity they fasted during 3 different months to remember what had happened and to remember their sin. In doing so they also remember God’s faithfulness, love, grace and mercy. When we remember our past sins, we should be taken to a place of awe and gratitude (not shame and guilt) because we have been forgiven. Dealing with our past gives us the ability to remember in a healthy way. When we remember the hurts that have been inflicted upon us, we should also be taken to a place of awe and gratitude (not re-experiencing the trauma) because God has brought us through that event. I feel like this is a significant insight for my own life and for those whom God puts in my path. My ministry is to walk beside people and help them get to a place of healthy and honoring remembering.
P – Thank you Jesus for making it possible to experience your healing and to be able to stand in awe and gratitude. Forgive me for cheapening your sacrifice by not wanting to remember those painful times. Help me to remember in a healthy and honoring way; giving you all glory and honor. Amen