July 3: Psalm 3; Ezra 7-8

Song for today: Star Spangled Banner / My Country ‘Tis of Thee

Today’s country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.
Selah
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.
•••
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people.
Selah
from Psalm 3

after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of … Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest— this Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him. Some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king
•••
Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
•••
Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it diligently be done for the house of the God of heaven. For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
•••
Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes.
So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.
from Ezra 7

These are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of King Artaxerxes:…
•••
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
from Ezra 8

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