Sunday, July 13, 2014

Father Knows Best

Ezra 2:62        They searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.

Clients will ask me “Why does the program not allow me to          ?” I can fill the blank with one of many prohibitions: no phone calls, no jewelry, no long hair, etc. There are reasons why things that you and they would assume to be “Ok” are not permitted. There is a reason for each. But if I were to take the time to explain them all, then we would miss the message for today.

God had given Temple worship instructions to His people many, many centuries earlier. They were written down and were followed by the ancestors of those who are now leaving captivity in Babylon. As they prepare to return to Jerusalem, they have dusted off the Law of Moses and have read it thoroughly to ensure that their return would be a success.

God’s instructions for the Temple required that the furnishings be in place. So the returning exiles gathered all the artifacts for worship: both those they had and those held by King Cyrus. Also needed were the worship leaders and others permitted to be in the Temple. These people were descended from Aaron. So the exiles dusted off their records to identify all the individuals and families who were to return with them. They would be the ones to reestablish the Temple and the worship practices.

God excluded all the other exiles from being part of the Temple worship. It may seem unfair, impractical or meaningless to exclude some from returning to Jerusalem. But it is God’s Temple and He wanted things handled in a particular way.

When we commit ourselves to be followers of Christ, there will be things that God prohibits us from doing, saying or believing. He knows why these things are to be off limits for us. We may not always understand why. We may disagree. But He is our God and we are His Temples. Father knows best. 

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