S. O. A. P.
Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!
These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.
This is part of the Prophet/Priest Ezra’s story of how King Cyrus of Persia sent the exiled people of Israel back to their homes in Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Part of the group that returned was from the Jewish priesthood, the Levites. But during their stay for seventy years in Babylon, there was much intermarriage. Because of it, men who had been priests in Babylon for the Israeli people could not document their lineage. Consequently, going back to Jerusalem, they were deemed “UNCLEAN,” by the other members of the priesthood and forbidden to operate as priests any longer.
As I read this passage this AM, the Lord somehow let me jump inside the feelings of these men who had served during the exile in Babylon and loved the Lord but, once back home in Jerusalem, were deemed UNCLEAN by their fellow priests and banished from the ministry. I literally broke as I imagined their pain. But then I thought of these modern times and how different people are often banished from serving in the house of the Lord because of past issues. I’ve been judged by others who don’t know me and written off as someone who couldn’t serve in some cases. When I recall those times, it wasn’t for anything I had done, but it was for what others assumed I had done or who had thought that’s probably just the kind of person he is because they had seen me in the near proximity of a problem. I agree the priests in Ezra had intermarried, but Jeremiah had told them to marry and bear children in Jeremiah 29:6. Now they came home, and they faced “The Peril Of Being Deemed UNCLEAN.” Thankfully we are living in the New Testament season of GRACE. Whatever people may say about you, you have already been DEEMED by Jesus as ONE of HIS! That’s all the DEEMING we need.
I’m glad you saved me and made me clean and ready to serve you many years ago. Whatever people have said about me in my past, I’ve looked to you, and you have been all the approval I’ve needed to keep going! Thank you, Jesus! Amen