Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

The Conflict in Gaza

November 13, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 52
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
The Conflict in Gaza
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. I'm Mark Roberts and I'm glad to welcome you to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday November the 13th. I'm glad that we're together because I have so many notes for Daily Bible we're reading and I wanna say some more about the sermon yesterday, all of which is wrapped up in a great cup of coffee. I'm drinking some Tanzanian coffee. Let me just tell you , they don't just grow elephants there. This is amazing coffee and I've got it in my new favorite mug. Dina and I were at the Grand Canyon last week, and even though we have a cabinet full of mugs, I had to buy another one and this is, this is a really, really pretty mug and it just holds great memories and right now it's holding a great cup of coffee. Let's get our Bibles open. Let's think a little bit more about some world events. I talked about that yesterday. Let's think about our daily Bible reading. We're moving out of Ezekiel and let's see if we can't put this podcast on the road. I'm excited to be with you today. All that spiritual energy from yesterday and momentum we're driving it into the new week. Let's get started. Yesterday in the 10 40, I preached on the Israeli Hamas conflict, the war that's going on in Gaza, and I just want to share one additional verse with you and one additional action step. First, the verse mark nine verse one is where Jesus says to the disciples, truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste deaf until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power. This is such an important verse in all of this in time discussion because invariably people are spinning out some scenario where Jesus returns to earth to set up the kingdom. If that is so then Jesus lied in Mark nine one because he promised his disciples they would be alive when they saw the kingdom come. Well, I guess I should admit, maybe those guys are somewhere and they're nearly 2000 something years old, but that doesn't seem very likely, does it? It seems like Jesus is telling people, telling his disciples they will see the kingdom come because he is not going to fail. He's not setting up a physical kingdom. He's setting up the church, the kingdom of God, a spiritual kingdom. And what Jesus says in Mark nine, one comes to pass in Acts chapter two. The reason it seems that way is because that is exactly what Jesus is saying in all attempts to have Jesus set up some kind of earthly kingdom and the Jews to mass convert to Christianity through some dramatic sign, all that rapture stuff with its complicated charts and crazy scenarios that just needs to be discarded along with the unbiblical idea that that land is still significant in God's plans or that the Jewish people are somehow still special and the only ones who are the extra special recipients of God's blessings we saw yesterday, none of that is true. This idea that pre-millennial thought pushes that Jesus will build a kingdom someday , a physical kingdom not true. The kingdom has come and you can be in it right now if you are a Christian. How about one action step then an important action step I think here would be to consider making a donation to a reputable relief organization that's helping in the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian toll there is just ghastly, so many people dying, so many children dying and Israel has sealed that area off and the south end has been sealed by Egypt, so nothing's getting in. And they need humanitarian aid, they need medicine, they need water, they need food and and so much of that is being obstructed. They can't get any of that into those people. There are some relief organizations that are reputable. You can Google about that. Be careful with your money, be a good stewardship steward with what God has blessed you with. But there are some organizations now that are able to get some trucks in and you might consider as we think about doing good unto all men and especially those with a household of faith, Galatians six in verse 10 , you might consider, how can I help monetarily with this situation that as we talked about yesterday, is far outside of our control. God will take care of this. Don't spend time worrying about that, threatening about that and soaking and all the doomsday stuff coming off the media. No, let's not do that. Let's get our Bibles open instead and we'll soak in God's word. But if you want to do something, send some money to an organization that's helping the poor people trapped in a truly awful circumstance there in the Gaza Strip. Hope that's a challenge for you and I hope that you can do something with that. And having said that, I've got my Bible reading schedule out. That's the red one, of course. And look, we're out of the prophets this week. We're in Second Kings. Let's read our Bibles together. It is Monday and today we read in Second King chapter 25 and two Chronicles chapter 36. This is a good place to get dates in front of us again. Let's see if we can get all of this working in our mind. Maybe jot some of this down in the margin of your Bible. It all starts all this Babylonian captivity and all that we've been reading about in Ezekiel really begins in six 12 when Nineveh falls and the Assyrian Empire is on the way out in 6 0 9. Then Babylon defeats Assyria. Josiah, by the way, king Josiah is killed trying to stop the Egyptians from going to the aid of the Assyrians. Uh, Josiah's killed at Mato and we read about that. That leads them to 6 0 5 and the famous battle of Kamish where Babylon establishes itself as the superpower of the day. They are the ruling power and they take over Judea and Jerusalem. That's when Daniel Shadrach , Meshach and Abednego on and other nobles are taken back to Babylon. Then in 5 97 after the rebellion, the people in Jerusalem and Judea rebell against Babylon, there is a destruction there. There's an invasion. A whole bunch of those people are taken into Babylonian captivity. They are deported. Ezekiel is part of that, and a few years later he begins his preaching and teaching in Babylon. That's what we've been reading. We've been in Babylon. While Ezekiel was there in 5 86, the people rebelled again. That was a brilliant move, wasn't it? And so Babylon just showed up and stomped on him and burned down Jerusalem, tore down his walls and burnt the temple as well and Ezekiel covered that. We talked about that as well in our reading in Ezekiel. Now we come back to two kings chapter 25 and having been in Babylon, let me get some coffee here, having been in Babylon now we come back to Judea to see what's going on there in two Kings chapter 25, beginning in verse 22, we read about Galia . He is appointed by Nebuchadnezzar as the governor over Judea. However, it doesn't last very long even though he tells the people they need to serve the king of Babylon. That's the message. Jeremiah's been preaching the whole time. If you recall from the book of Jeremiah in the seventh month verse 25, A bad man Ishmael comes and assassinates him. There is full coverage of this in Jeremiah chapter 40 and chapter 41. If you're looking to do some extra reading today, go get that. You'll get more information about that. Ishmael. Now having killed the Babylonian appointed governor knows that's not going to play well. So he gathers everybody up, including the prophet Jeremiah who tells them in Jeremiah 42, don't do this. Don't go to Egypt. God doesn't want this to happen. Nope. Ishmael gathers everybody up and they all go to Egypt including Jeremiah and pretty much disappear from history as a result of their leaving the promised land and heading off into Egypt. They do some building there, some other things going on, but biblically they are not significant. What is important then is what follows in our reading today in Two Kings 25, beginning in verse 27, in the 27th year of the exile of Jehan, king of Judah, in the 12th month on the 27th day of the month, evil maroch began to reign and freed Jehan. Now this would be about five 60 or 5 61 and it is an incredible note here. A king in the Davidic line is located in Babylonian exile and he is freed and given an allowance and a place in the court. He is exalted again and a number of scholars have noted, for example, I'm quoting here would've been a note of dark despair is now illuminated by the light of God's gracious concern for his own jochen's release and renewed enjoyment of life stands as a harbinger of the future relief and the return of all the nation in accord with God's promises and there actually is an archeological fine that confirms Jochen's existence. They have uncovered in Babylon four different receipts for stores issued with his name on them. How about that? And I think this does provide a tiny ray of light. There is still a royal line. There is still a king for David's throne. I think if the writer had wanted to end just negatively, he wouldn't have said anything about Jehan and the book would just end. Instead, what we get is this incredible ray of hope, this light at the end of the tunnel that says God has not forgotten. There is still a man who can bring forth an heir . The people have gone to Egypt and others have been taken to Babylon, but there is nothing left in Judah. The temple vessels, the ones that are intact and the king it turns out are in Babylon, which makes me think God is working in Babylon. Of course we would think that because Jeremiah has said that, Ezekiel has said that. And so now we're thinking about God's people coming home. We're thinking about a return from captivity and our second reading today in second Chronicles 36 shapes that even further. Let's go over second Chronicles 36 . Our reading in second Chronicles 36 is key for our understanding. It recounts again that the king of the Chaldeans came up against Jerusalem. This is in 5 86 and destroyed the house of the Lord took the treasures of the house of the Lord back to Babylon, burned the house of God. Verse 19 took into exile a whole bunch of people. Why verse 21, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah until the Lord had enjoyed its Sabbath. The 70 years of captivity is not just an arbitrary number. God didn't just pluck that out of a hat that comes because the people had not been faithful. And so the land keep Sabbath. It is forced to keep Sabbath. It is desolate for 70 years. The key part of our reading today is verse 22. In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah that it might be fulfilled. The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia so that he made a proclamation and he sent verse 23, the Jews home. This is an incredible happening. No one could have foreseen this to occur. Well if they weren't a prophet of God. Of course Isaiah talked about this in Isaiah the 44 chapter, but only God could have used a king like this. And this is unprecedented in world history. In fact, there's a very cool record of what Cyrus did. It's called the Cyrus cylinder, and he didn't just send home the Jews. He sent home lots of people that the Assyrians and the Babylonians had moved around. That was their state policy. Their way of keeping you from rebelling is they just pick you up, pluck you off your land and send you somewhere else. And as you're going west, here comes another group of people who used to live where you're going and they're heading east to live where you used to live. They deported and move people around. Cyrus said, that's no good. Let's send people back home where they want to be and that is recorded on the Cyrus cylinder. I've been privileged to see the cylinder of Cyrus in person. It's a good bit smaller than I expected it would. Look, I'll try to post a picture on my Facebook page of when I saw it and it is a record of this incredible accomplishment, this incredible decree by Cyrus that nobody would have ever expected. But notice God did this. The word of the Lord might be fulfilled. The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus. And if you look right across the page to where we'll be reading tomorrow in Ezra chapter one in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled. The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia. He made a proclamation. See the linkage there? That's why we're going to Ezra next and I would say this at the end of verse 23, the expression let him go up. That is used of the exodus, used of the Exodus a couple of times. Exodus chapter three, Exodus 13. And we really are meant the language that's being used and will be used in Ezra, that language is meant to evoke the idea of a second exodus. God is bringing his people out of , the of Babylon. This time God has not given up on them. God has plans for these people and he's bringing them back to the promised land and we begin that story tomorrow as we read in Ezra , as we read in Ezra, I nearly said Ezekiel EA goal . How about Ezra chapter one? I need more coffee. I'll see you tomorrow. We'll start the book of Ezra on Tuesday. Welcome to Tuesday and today we begin the wonderful book of Ezra. We'll be reading the first chapter of Ezra, just 11 verses not very long at all. Lemme give you some basic background on this book. The book of Ezra breaks into two pieces, both of which come before the time of Nehemiah chapters one to six record the history of the people back in Judea before Ezra arrives on the scene. I think there's a very common misconception that Ezra led the first wave of people back and that is not true. Chapter seven to 10 then include the history of the people in Judea with Ezra. Now it's very obvious that the book of Ezra is not re , we're not recording everything. It's not a record of every detail of everything that ever happened. These are very carefully chosen events that illustrates certain key themes, particularly Jewish religious development and opposition to the Jews in Palestine. Wow, does that sound like I'm reading current events or what? So we begin in verse one with Cyrus. Now, Cyrus was a kind and enlightened king. He reverses the Babylonian deportation policy and sends people back home. This was done to secure contentment in the empire. You should know not all the Jews went home. Many were doing very well in Babylon and they stayed there. In fact, the first banking house in human history was started about a hundred years later by a family there in Babylon. Cyrus actually dies in 5 29 while on campaign in India and his sun camp Basises took over. He actually conquers Egypt in 5 25 BC and then there's a line of kings. We may get into some of this, but some of that's kind of complicated and maybe beyond the scope of what we need to know as we read along in Ezra. But I would say this, Ezra arrives in 4 58, about 13 years before Nehemiah arrives and he was there to encourage religious reform. But the events that are going on that we're reading about today are somewhere in that 5 35 range after the 70 years of captivity. A little hard to know exactly you date that 70 years off the 6 0 5, you want it off the 5 97, you want it off the 5 86. All of those dates work and you can find some matching as you work along with some of that. But this would be somewhere mm , 5 38, somewhere around in there as people return from exile. So our reading gives the text of Cyrus's proclamation and then the weighing out of various basins of gold and bowls , all the parts of the temple that still remain the temple vessels that were important. And he sends them home. Notice verse five. Those go whose spirit God has stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord. Not everybody went, but some people wanted to go home and be in Jerusalem, be in Judea where God's people were to live. And all of this was given verse 11 to shes bazaar . We don't know who that is. That is not the same person as a that cases made sometimes that that is a Babylonian name for rebel , but that seems doubtful. He's only mentioned a few times here in chapter one and then in chapter five and also uh, 5 14 5 16. We just don't know very much about him. But that'll carry us then to chapter three. We're not reading chapter two 'cause it's a long list of names. The people who went back. We'll join the reading on Wednesday in Ezra chapter three. See you tomorrow. It is Hump Day. We are reading Ezra the third chapter today after that long list of people, the various names of families and clans that returned. Some people noticed chapter two verse 63, some people who were not able to prove their lineage that they were of the priestly family and so they could not serve as priests until there was a clear word from God about that. We begin now in chapter three. In chapter three we read about the seventh month. So this is September or October. It's about three months after they have arrived. The seventh month is very sacred. It marks the beginning of the civil calendar and it has the day of atonement within it, Roosh has Hashanah. So the priests take the lead here over rebel verse two and begin to build and rebuild the worship of God. The altar is set in place in verse three and they observe the feast of Tabernacles or the feast of booze. Some translations in verse six have a mistake there in the translating. The foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid is important. That's how that should be translated later in Haggai we will read more about some of that. And so then the temple construction is begun beginning in verse eight. They send uh , verse seven to Lebanon to get the cedars and they begin to do the work to rebuild the temple. This would be in the spring of about 5 36. And please notice as they get this done, verse 11 tells us that they sang responsibly for God is good and his steadfast love endures forever, steadfast love. Yep , that's that word hasad , the love of God that comes because he promised he would love. It is the covenant love. It is loyal love. It is love even for the unlovely because God promised to love them. As we try to draw near to God this year, that's the kind of place that you want to hone in on. God cares for his people even when God's people haven't done a very good job of caring for the Lord. And maybe in verse 13, as they were shouting and some people were weeping, this is a tough passage to read. There were some people there who knew what was missing. They knew what the Babylonians had burned and that they would never have anything as fine and great and grand as Solomon's temple. They're weeping while others are shouting for joy because they are starting again. And in the middle of all of that, maybe Psalm 1 26, 5 is appropriate. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy . It is a joyous occasion, but trouble is right around the corner. I'll see you tomorrow and we'll talk about Ezra four . It is Thursday and today we read Ezra the fourth chapter and I am delighted to have the podcast to talk about Ezra four with you because if you're not prepared for what's happening in Ezra four , it may just be very, very confusing. What we're going to get in the fourth chapter of Ezra is a summary of many, many years of adversaries thwarting the work in Jerusalem, stopping the work that's trying to go on there. Chapter three reported that the work began and then in chapter five they we get the word that the work had stopped and now they need to restart it. This chapter, chapter four, accounts for that gap in consecutive order. RA details those who attacked and opposed and otherwise made reconstruction in Jerusalem very difficult. And here's the outline verses one to five discuss problems with adversaries during the reign of Cyrus. 5 39 to five 30 verse six discusses problems during the reign of Xerxes 4 85 to 4 65 verses seven to 23 discuss art of Xerxes the first 4 64 to 4 24. And then finally verse 24, resumes the thread of temple construction in 5 22. Did you see that? It jumps back into the narrative under Darius the first . So you get Cyrus Xerxes are Xerxes and then we go back out of chronological order and we pick up the thread of the temple being rebuilt by during the time of Darius and it will ultimately be allowed by Darius. Some of this you'll notice particularly the material during our desserts reign in verses seven to 23 is clearly about wall building, not about temple building. They've got the thing built by then. What we need to see and what Ezra wants us to see in this material is that everything that Jews did, somebody was jumping up and down screaming about it, tangling them up in bureaucratic red tape and causing all kinds of problems and difficulties. That's what chapter four is all about. Once again, sounds an awful lot like the problems that are going on over there today, doesn't it? Especially since the first thing that happens in chapter four in verses one and two is some Samaritans show up and say, we want to be part of this. The Samaritans are folks that were imported by Assyrian kings and resettled in the land of Israel. When the 10 tribes were deported, they mix with the people from the 10 tribes who remain there, the poorest of the land. They are not full Israelites and their worship is tainted by idolatry. We read about this in two King 17 beginning in verse 24. They do worship God kind of sorta . They worship a lot of gods and they just add the Israelite God, hey, we're living on his land now we just add him to our pantheon of gods. And the Jews say, you have no part of this. Wow, there it is. Jews and Samaritans not getting along. Guess who the Palestinians are related to today. Some of those Palestinians can probably trace their lineage back if they had family trees and genealogy genealogical records to the Samaritans. That's where they come from. You'll remember in Jesus's day the Samaritans and the Jews hate each other and can't even say a kind word to each other. Jesus just shocks a Samaritan woman in John four when he talks to her . Guess where all of those hard feelings come from? Yep . Ezra chapter four. So they bribe counselors verse five, to frustrate their purposes. In some ways that's a good summary of about a hundred years of opposition during the time of as Azaria . Boy, that's hard to say. It's easier to say zerk seas . They made accusations against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. It just goes on and on until finally they send a letter back to the court of art of Xerxes. The first the male system in the Persian empire is a thing of legend. In fact, that famous line about neither rain nor snow nor hail the male will go through actually comes from the time of the Persian Empire. And this letter contains all kinds of slanderous accusations, some of which are kind of sort of maybe kind of true given the fact that the Jews have not distinguished themselves for being very submissive to government. They note that the Jews, verse 12 who came up from you, have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding the rebellious and wicked city. So this is about wall building at this point. And that verse 12 references Ezra's party, the group that Ezra leads back. And in fact the king then answers and says, listen, these people are terrible. Verse 19. See what happens when you act bad, you end up with a bad reputation. And so I want this stopped and as a result of that, the repair of Jerusalem comes to a halt. All of this then explains why when we get to verse 24 that as Ezra returns to the account of rebuilding the temple, he says, the work on the house of God stopped. It stopped during the reign of Darius, king of Persia. That's five 20 and the work on the house of God will remain stopped for 16 to 17 years. They got some foundation work done, then it just ceased. Maybe you've driven by a construction site, somebody got busy on a house and then they ran outta money. Or maybe you've driven past a building, a shopping center and they ran out of funds or there was some kind of problem and it just sits idle and empty. There's a slab there and nothing else. Well, for a long time that's what the temple looked like, A slab, nothing else. That takes us to chapter five because God wants his house built again and he's going to send some prophets to get that moving. Let's get that project started. The Lord says, and we hear about that in Ezra chapter five. It is Friday. And today we are reading two verses of Ezra chapter five. And then we're gonna go read the book of Haggai chapter one. So Ezra chapter five verses one and two says, the prophets, Haggai and Zacharias, son of Eddo , prophesied to the Jews who are in Juda , Judah, and Jerusalem told them they needed to rebuild. Verse two, the house of God. Wonder what those guys said. Well, you don't have to wonder about that. Turn your Bible to Haggai chapter one and we can read the message of Haggai. I really love how this dovetails so neatly into Ezra chapter five. And I love when I'm reading my Bible and it says, Hey, this prophet came and said this and this. And then I can go in and read the message of that. Prophet Haggai's prophecies are dated very specifically from August 29th, five 20 BC until December 18th, five 20 . Haggai spoke. Zacharia will join in two months after Haggai's first sermon. Yes, we will read Zacharia as well. During this time. There was a lot of instability and Haggai decides, or actually the word of Lord comes to him and helps him decide. God uses him to encourage rebel and others to rebuild the house of the Lord. And you will notice in your reading today, the emphasis on thus says the Lord. This is the word of the Lord, thus says the Lord. This declares the Lord of hosts. Verse nine, God has sent him. Verse 12, verse 13. Haggai spoke to the people with the Lord's message. So this is very much about what God wants done. We don't know very much about Haggai, but he does date everything very carefully. And he emphasizes He has a message from God. The expression, this is what the Lord says. Some form of that is used 26 times in 38 verses. Haggai's message is there's a reason that we're not doing very well. There's a reason why we can't plant and get a good harvest. There's a reason why things aren't going well. We need to consider our ways. We have not built the house of God. God isn't blessing us because we're not faithful to the Lord. Maybe this is a great place to show the conditional nature of the promises to God's people. Talked a little bit about that last Sunday. Folks want the Jews to be in that land forever and to always be God's special people. There were conditions attached to that had guys preaching about those conditions, trying to encourage the people to be faithful. It's not a case where they're worshiping Baal or some false God putting idols up in the temple. It's a case of unfaithfulness. It's a case of apathy. It's a case of being caught up in their own lives and not taking care of what God wants them to do. And having said all this year, I wouldn't want to be a prophet 'cause nobody ever listens to the prophets and they never can get any visible results. It doesn't seem like anybody ever caress about what they say. That's actually not true. The people respond to hagis preaching beginning in verse 12, and they start work on the temple again. They sing the invitation song and down come the people ready to repent and serve the Lord like they should. They're going to rebuild God's temple. How impressive is that? How exciting is that God isn't done with these people and they're preaching of these prophets affects them. They're able to see that they need to do better and serve the Lord in a better way. And that happens in Haggai chapter one. That certainly won't cure everything and there's gonna be some difficulties that need to be addressed. Guess what? Haggai will take care of that as well. And we'll see even more about that in the Book of Zechariah . But that's our reading for today. And like I said, I love how that dovetails so perfectly into our reading in the book of Ezra. We've got the people back in our homeland. They're rebuilding the temple, they're serving God in a better way. They have drawn closer to the Lord, and I hope you have as well. Well, that's the podcast for this week. We thank you for listening to it and I hope that you're sharing it with others that you have subscribed or followed whatever it takes to get the podcast delivered automatically to your digital device so you can listen to it beginning on Monday morning. I do appreciate very much you listening to the podcast and your kind comments about it. It is kind of a lot of work and there's a lot of people who work on it and do all the things necessary to get this going besides just me talking into a microphone with my Bible open. We have sound engineer, Anisa Cuellar does all of that. John Cheney is the network guy who gets it uploaded. Lots of work goes on, Larry Gale did. Our voiceovers. Lots happens to make this work and I'm thankful that it is helping you and working for you. So until next week, I hope that your coffee is delightful and that your Friday is wonderful and that the Lord will be with you today all day. I'm Mark and I do. I wanna go to heaven and I want you to come to see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday.

Sermon Notes
Monday 2 Kin 25:22-30; 2 Chr 36:17-23
Tuesday Ezra 1
Wednesday Ezra 3
Thursday Ezra 4
Ezra 5:1-2; Haggai 1