The people have heard the words of God as Ezra read from the Law. Their hearts were pierced and they wept. “Don’t weep for this is a holy day to the Lord.”
It is the first day of Tishri. This is the seventh month in the year prescribed by the Torah but the first month in the civil calendar. This day is the Jewish New Year; Rosh Hashanah. I don’t know if it was a holy day before Ezra read the Law but it is still a holy day today.
As Ezra read the Law to the people they recognized their sin. Their heats were pierced and they wept over their sins. Ezra tells them not to weep though. This day is a holy day to the Lord. It is a new beginning. Be joyful and thankful for the chance to start again, fresh, with Him.
Ezra instructs the people to do three things.
- No more weeping. This is a joyous day
- Eat and drink the best
- Give to those who don’t have anything ready
When God gives you a fresh start it is a time to rejoice. He had wiped away the old. He has washed away your sins and given you a clean slate. It is time to do better; to take the lessons learned the previous year and apply them to the new year. Time to commit to NOT repeating the sins of the past. It’s time to look forward to where God is leading you now.
“Eat the fat and drink sweet wine” (verse 10b). Eat the good portions God has provided for you. Think of the new year like a fruit basket. It is filled with ripe, fresh fruit. It sits before you holding all the wonders available to you. You have but to put your hand out and choose the one that is most pleasing to you. The piece that calls to you. You are not worried about eating the one that is about to spoil if not eaten right away. Everything is fresh and full of life. Take hold of what is being offered.
It is also time to share with others who do not have the blessings that you have. Reach out to those in need for you were in need too before God reached out to you. Bless those around you. Look outside of yourself and notice other people. Sow into their lives in unexpected ways.
I LOVE how God brings me (us) to just the right place at just the right time. Or he opens my heart to hear the right message at the right time. Today’s text feels like one of those times. Here we are, on the brink of the day when we celebrate His BEST gift to mankind. The start of a new beginning and we are watching the returnees enter into their new beginning. Be joyful! Enjoy the blessings that He has bestowed upon you. And give to those who are lacking.
Father God, THANK YOU for Your gift of Jesus. There is no greater gift EVER given. His life offers me the chance at a clean slate. All I need to do is reach out and accept it.
THANK YOU Jesus for willingly coming to live among us. To step down from Heaven in all its splendor and wake in a manger with the smells of a stable. What a change! But that was just the beginning of the changes You would endure. KNOWING full well what lay ahead, You still chose to walk this path. What an AMAZING gift You gave me!!!
Thank You Holy Spirit for reminding me of these facts. Thank You for focusing my mind on God’s words. Thank You for ALWAYS meeting with me and speaking to my heart when I come to study God’s word. Thank You for being my ‘Translator’ and making sure I understand what God is sharing with me.