This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International with the Whyte House Daily Devotional Bible Reading Episode #349. Where I read three chapters of the Holy Bible in the King James Version each day with my family as a part of our family devotions, to encourage you to read the Holy Bible in a year’s time. Today we are reading Ezra 7, Isaiah 65, and Zechariah 9.
Charles Spurgeon said, “The Word of God will be to you a bulwark and a high tower, a castle of defense against the foe. Oh, see to it that the Word of God is in you, in your very soul, permeating your thoughts, and so operating upon your outward life, that all may know you to be a true Bible-Christian, for they perceive it in your words and deeds.”
Woodrow Wilson said, “When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness and your own duty.”
1 Now after these things, in the reign of Ar-ta-xerx’-es king of Per’-sia, Ez’-ra the son of Se-rai’-ah, the son of Az-a-ri’-ah, the son of Hil-ki’-ah,
2 The son of Shal’-lum, the son of Za’-dok, the son of A-hi’-tub,
3 The son of Am-a-ri’-ah, the son of Az-a-ri’-ah, the son of Me-rai’-oth,
4 The son of Zer-a-hi’-ah, the son of Uz’-zi, the son of Buk’-ki,
5 The son of A-bi’-shu-a, the son of Phin’-e-has, the son of El-e-a’-zar, the son of Aa’-ron the chief priest:
6 This Ez’-ra went up from Bab’-y-lon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Mo’-ses, which the Lord God of Is’-ra-el had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him.
7 And there went up some of the children of Is’-ra-el, and of the priests, and the Le’-vites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Neth’-i-nims, unto Je-ru’-sa-lem, in the seventh year of Ar-ta-xerx’-es the king.
8 And he came to Je-ru’-sa-lem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Bab’-y-lon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Je-ru’-sa-lem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
10 For Ez’-ra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Is’-ra-el statutes and judgments.
11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Ar-ta-xerx’-es gave unto Ez’-ra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes to Is’-ra-el.
12 Ar-ta-xerx’-es, king of kings, unto Ez’-ra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.
13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Is’-ra-el, and of his priests and Le’-vites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Je-ru’-sa-lem, go with thee.
14 Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Ju’-dah and Je-ru’-sa-lem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;
15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Is’-ra-el, whose habitation is in Je-ru’-sa-lem,
16 And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Bab’-y-lon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Je-ru’-sa-lem:
17 That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Je-ru’-sa-lem.
18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.
19 The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Je-ru’-sa-lem.
20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house.
21 And I, even I Ar-ta-xerx’-es the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ez’-ra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.
23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Neth’-i-nims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
25 And thou, Ez’-ra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.
26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27 Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Je-ru’-sa-lem:
28 And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Is’-ra-el chief men to go up with me.
1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,
7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.
8 Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Ja’-cob, and out of Ju’-dah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
10 And Sha’-ron shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of A’-chor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
11 But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:
16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Je-ru’-sa-lem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19 And I will rejoice in Je-ru’-sa-lem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
1 The burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Ha’-drach, and Da-mas’-cus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Is’-ra-el, shall be toward the Lord.
2 And Ha’-math also shall border thereby; Ty’-rus, and Zi’-don, though it be very wise.
3 And Ty’-rus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.
5 Ash’-ke-lon shall see it, and fear; Ga’-za also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ek’-ron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Ga’-za, and Ash’-ke-lon shall not be inhabited.
6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ash’-dod, and I will cut off the pride of the Phil’-is-tines.
7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Ju’-dah, and Ek’-ron as a Jeb’-u-site.
8 And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zi’-on; shout, O daughter of Je-ru’-sa-lem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10 And I will cut off the chariot from E’-phra-im, and the horse from Je-ru’-sa-lem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
13 When I have bent Ju’-dah for me, filled the bow with E’-phra-im, and raised up thy sons, O Zi’-on, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
14 And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.
15 The Lord of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.
16 And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.
When I was a teenager I wanted to get wisdom and knowledge, so I set out to read the big family Bible that many families had in those days. But I couldn’t get past Genesis 2 before I got bored with reading the Bible. I found out later in life that you have to believe on Christ and get saved before you can understand the Bible. So here is how I became a Christian and how you can too:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless.