Day 283 October 10
15 I gathered them by the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped for three days.
As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found no Levites there. 16 So I called for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, all leaders, together with Joiarib and Elnathan, who were wise. 17 I sent them to Iddo, the leader at the place named Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his colleagues the temple servants at Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for God’s house. 18 Because we were favored by God, they brought us Sherebiah, a skillful man of the family of Mahli, Levi’s son and Israel’s grandson, together with his sons and relatives so that there were eighteen in total. 19 They also brought us Hashabiah and with him Jeshaiah of the family of Merari, together with his relatives and their sons so that there were twenty in total. 20 In addition, there were two hundred twenty temple servants whom David and the princes had appointed to serve the Levites. These were all recorded by name.
21 Then I called for a fast there at the Ahava River so that we might submit before our God and ask of him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our possessions. 22 I had been ashamed to ask the king for a group of soldiers and cavalry to help us in facing enemies on the way, because we had told the king, “The power of God favors all who seek him, but his fierce wrath is against all who abandon him.” 23 So we fasted and prayed to our God for this, and he responded to us.
Comment: 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, 4 while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.
Exaltation through Abasement
5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6 But someone has testified somewhere,
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
or mortals, that you care for them?
7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned them with glory and honor,
8 subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Prayer: open our hands to release you Spirit through us. Amen.