Thursday, March 10, 2011

THE 72-HOUR RULE: EZRA

Ezra from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum
 Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel
I have been  preparing for a  "Preparedness Fair" for our Stake.
I signed up for this, knowing full well that this undertaking was not without it's challenges. I should have learned from my last foray in to the "Joys of Preparedness". This Fair is a little bit more organized, we have a plan that has been vetted. We have signs and posters, meetings, etc. We (all who signed up) have been put in pairs. I am sure there is some symbolism there. I have been paired up with a lovely sister, who I haven't met and who apparently does not want to meet until the Fair. We have spoken or rather emailed a couple of times, and she has outlined her agenda/or plans. It has been decided that we will have a lecture format, no refreshments, we/she won't talk about kits of any type or food storage for that matter. The Title of our presentation is Family Management. She has some really great and somewhat radical ideas, I will support her efforts,but, I really have to talk about a kit, you can't just omit a kit. So you can imagine my dilemma. I don't want to seem to support her extremist, radical ideas as my own, but then I want to present info that is along the lines of the title of the class, Family management.    
So I humbled myself, and I asked for guidance. The Lord is awesome in his power and authority. I went back and read a favorite old Testament record, Ezra. Who was he? Take note of his record of genealogy
EZRA 1:5-8
5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest—
6 this Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel
The Lord had given Ezra, who was a priest and a scribe, learned in all the laws of Moses, the responsibility to rebuild the Temple.
He was responsible for organizing a willing group of people,the children of Israel  to return to Jerusalem,who would learn the statutes and the laws of God, and who would help to re-build the the Temple.
Ezra's responsibility to to raise up a people who would obey God commandments,and keep his covenants.

 Ezra 8:1 lists the names of all the families, the patriarchs of those families, the children, grandchildren, etc. The list includes servants and children of servants. A census is taken of the people, and of their servants, of their possessions, of their records
Ezra 8:1 These are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of King Artaxerxes..
 There is an entire laundry list of everyone from heads of house holds to the servants of these people, even a listing of some house hold items, donkeys, and other sundry farm animals.
After everyone was gathered together, they camped out by a river for 3 days. During this time they prayed for humility and guidance as to how organize themselves and their possesions, they prayed for protection during the journey
Ezra 8:21-23 
21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.
22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.”
23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
Ezra 2:1 Now these are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city. 
Ezra 2:59 And these were the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan,and Immer; but they could not identify their father’s house or their genealogy, whether they were of Israel:
60 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, and the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two;
61 and of the sons of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Koz, and the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name.
62 These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but they were not found; therefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled.
63 And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things till a priest could consult with the Urim and Thummim.
The responsibility of the children of Israel, even while in captivity was to obey God commandments, to remember and keep Gods covenants. Each family was responsible to keep a record of themselves, it included not only their genealogy, but if they had servants, their records were also to be maintained. The families were responsible for documentation of  all of their possessions to establish stewardship.
 Everything belongs to God including ourselves. In order to prepare ourselves, we must have our hearts prepared by God, by obeying all of Gods commandments, keeping our covenants, keeping the sabbath day holy,paying our tithes. How can we manage our homes and our lives and the lives of our children if we don't know what we have?    .... there is eternal significance in everyday life;  preparation is needed for the rule of Messiah, the law being the schoolmaster to bring men to Christ
So again the question is asked, what does this have to do with preparedness? I want to substitute a new word for preparedness, how about "having sufficiency in all things"
2 Corinthians 3:4-5
4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God.
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 
Is being sufficient in all things all about our stuff? We are overwhelmed with stuff, so much so that we worry more about what will happen to this stuff, then about what is needful. I thought about what 5 things I would need to have with me at all times,regardless of whether or not its an emergency. The problem with preparedness fairs and the like, is that the top concern is  with the" EMERGENCY". What about daily living? What about the small things in life that eventually if you live long enough may erupt into the big EMERGENCY.
Here are my 5 things:
  1.  My temple Recommend 
  2. A water proof and fire proof file/safe that has either copies or originals of all records of vital importance, including my Family History records;patriarchal blessings;marriage and sealing record; etc. (A flash drive of what ever size will work too.)
  3. A 72 hour kit (s) that is not limited to a book bag, but will have in it the standard supplies, but also provisions for the temple.(a) The logic is this, if you can't go home for a while, but you can leave on foot or by a vehicle, you can have these items stored and ready. It seems that the people, who were prepared in the Book of Ezra, were prepared to attend the temple, even preparing for its rebuilding.)
  4.  Scriptures
  5. A multipurpose radio (that is a weather station; has a flashlight built in and a windup charger for a cell phone; cell phone.(maybe a kit or designated area with batteries and stuff)

 
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