Working Together in the Church
Today's Scripture: Ezra 2
1Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;
2Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mizpar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:
3The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
4The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
5The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five.
6The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.
7The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
8The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five.
9The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
10The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two.
11The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three.
12The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two.
13The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six.
14The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six.
15The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four.
16The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
17The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three.
18The children of Jorah, an hundred and twelve.
19The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three.
20The children of Gibbar, ninety and five.
21The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and three.
22The men of Netophah, fifty and six.
23The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
24The children of Azmaveth, forty and two.
25The children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three.
26The children of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one.
27The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and two.
28The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.
29The children of Nebo, fifty and two.
30The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and six.
31The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
32The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
33The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five.
34The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
35The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty.
36The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
37The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
38The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
39The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
40The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four.
41The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight.
42The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.
43The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
44The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,
45The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,
46The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,
47The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,
48The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,
49The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,
50The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,
51The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
52The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
53The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,
54The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
55The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,
56The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
57The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
58All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
59And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
60The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.
61And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:
62These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
63And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
64The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
65Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.
66Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
67Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
68And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:
69They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.
70So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
Today's Scripture Meaning:
The numbers that returned. (1-35) The numbers of the priests and Levites. (36-63) The offerings for the temple. (64-70)
Verses 1-35: An account was kept of the families that came up out of captivity. See how sin lowers a nation, which righteousness would exalt!
Verses 36-63: Those who undervalue their relation to the Lord in times of reproach, persecution, or distress, will have no benefit from it when it becomes honourable or profitable. Those who have no evidence that they are, by the new birth, spiritual priests unto God, through Jesus Christ, have no right to the comforts and privileges of Christians.
Verses 64-70: Let none complain of the needful expenses of their religion. Seek first the kingdom of God, his favour and his glory, then will all other things be added unto them. Their offerings were nothing, compared with the offerings of the princes in David's time; yet, being according to their ability, were as acceptable to God. The Lord will carry us through all undertakings entered on according to his will, with an aim to his glory, and dependence on his assistance. Those who, at the call of the gospel, renounce sin and return to the Lord, shall be guarded and guided through all perils of the way, and arrive safely at the mansions provided in the holy city of God.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Ezra with Chapter 2 and we see the exiles who returned in a detailed account. What catches my eye is verse 68-69 where everyone rebuilt the Temple giving of their funds, talents, and abilities. In making application we see this same effort is needed in building the House of God. It is said that 20% of the Church does 80% of the work but God's plan is for all the body to Minister through the House of God. If everyone gave of what the Lord has blessed us - then the body would function as the Lord has designed us. How about you? Do you give of your time, talents, and finances to the House of God? Let us learn from our text today and the example of the Jewish nation to remember that when we all work together in giving of ourselves then we will Minister as the Lord has designed us to serve in the House of the Lord.