Day 106--"Silent Stirrings" Ezra 1:1 - 3:13 Glogger: Pastor Heather Kramer
April 16, 2021, 7:21 AM

Day 106, Ezra 1:1-3:13

Friday, April 16, 2021

Rev. Heather Kramer

     If I’m being honest, my first reading of the first two chapters of Ezra did nothing for me.   What?!  I shouldn’t admit that!  I’m a minister, after all.  The whole of the Bible should hold my interest and have something profound to offer with every single word.  Yeah, no.  So I read it again, and I read a different translation, and I listened to it on YouTube.  (I have found a great dramatic reading called Faith Comes By Hearing.  There’s no video so I can listen and read along.  I’ve found that it helps when I’m reading and my attention wanders.  If I’m listening along, I am getting the visual and audio.  I seem to learn it better that way.)  Each time, I struggled through the accounting that takes place in the first and the second chapters.  Not even The Message interpretation seemed to take the tedium out of these passages. 

   Then I had a small revelation.  (Que the dancing, Mother Laurie: you want a revolution, I want a revelation!)  Here it is:  details matter to God.  How often have we read the fine details already in our one hundred and six days of reading?  We have had long genealogies, and extremely precise descriptions as to how the temple was to be built, and who was to attend to which task, and the particulars of what can be eaten and what can’t, and on and on.  My head swims amid all of these fine points.  But they matter to God. 

     Over and over again, scripture tells us of the infinite nature of God.  We cannot possibly begin to understand the scope of God’s infinite nature.  How can we count the stars in the sky, or the grains of sand on the beach?  How can we number the hairs on our heads?  For us, it is impossible, but not for God.  This is of great comfort, isn’t it?  Because God is at once concerned with the entirety of creation, and at the same time, with me.  With you.  God is both vast and precise. 

    In the list of returned Exiles in the second chapter, there are so many thousands of people!  I try to picture what that many people look like in my head, and I simply do not have enough imagination to conjure up what that many thousands look like.  I found the numbers of each descendant oddly specific.  The author could have rounded the numbers, but no; 52, 345, 973, 1172, and so on.  Just for fun, I added up the numbers given and ended up with the sum of 29,595!  Verse 64 says that “the whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred sixty” besides all of their numbered servants and animals!  (I love that the livestock was also numbered, because all of creation matters, not just the people!)  God cares about each one of those people, both as members of the group they were numbered in, and as individuals. 

      Somebody in the Bible Study on Wednesday asked the question that has crossed my mind more than once when reading these tedious parts; why bother?  If such specific record keeping is documented, it must be important.  My only conclusion is that details matter to God.  Thanks be to God!

Post a Comment