“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.” Ezra 9:8
Cyrus, king of Persia, in 539 B. C.“sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom,” encouraging captive Israelites to return to Jerusalem and build their God a house. After 70 years of Babylonian captivity, a remnant returned. We cannot say for sure, but Ezra could have been among them. His father’s name, Seraiah, appears with Zerubbabel and the other leaders (Ezra 2:2). Ezra is not mentioned by name until 58-60 years after the completion of the temple.
The unfaithfulness of the escaped remnant caused shame and humiliation to overwhelm Ezra’s soul. He prayed but could not even lift his face to the Lord. He confessed their guilt, then remembered God’s mercy. Verse 8 is his praise for the grace of God to bring them back to Jerusalem and “give us a nail in his holy place.”
What was this nail?
Beverly, a fellow blogger at becomingtheoilandwine.com, suggested the gifts God gives His saints for building the body of Christ are the nails. I found it interesting and hope she develops the idea into a post.
My daughter (whom you can visit at heathergreer.com) and I traded thoughts on the matter. She got quiet. Her eyes widened. She smiled. “It’s a mug rack, Mom. We hang mugs on pegs.”
I couldn’t keep the, I couldn’t believe you said that, look hidden. My one-sided grin didn’t help matters but was better than the laugh I held in. But as we looked deeper, I had to eat crow. No, it wasn’t exactly a mug rack. Lamps, cups, and jugs were hung on pegs or nails. But this nail symbolized much more. We found Ezra wasn’t the only one to mention a nail representing something deeper.
Isaiah introduces us to Eliakim who would become the nail to replace Shebna (You can read the whole story in Isaiah 22.
“And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open…
John the revelator records the following speaking of Jesus.
“I am he that liveth, and was dead: and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen: and have the keys of hell and of death.” Rev. 1: 18; “And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH.” Rev. 3:7
And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place: and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.
Ezra 9:8 adds.
“…and to give us a nail in his holy place…”
“To him who overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev. 3:21.
And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.” Isa. 22:21-15.
the glory of his father’s house
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14
“For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
That all men should honour the Son
even as they honour the Father.
He that honoureth not the Son
honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”
the offspring and the issue, all vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure,
having this seal,
The Lord knoweth them that are his.
And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ
depart from iniquity.
But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth;
and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
If a man therefore purge himself from these,
he shall be a vessel unto honour,
and meet for the master’s use,
and prepared unto every good work.”
2 Tim. 2: 19-21.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him
which is the head of all principality and power;”
We have a nail in a sure place. Our nail is Jesus Christ and our sure place is His temple.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Him that overcometh
will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go no more out:
and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath and ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Rev. 3:10-13.
Our God’s power has not diminished.
He created and keeps the heaven’s and the earth by the power of His word.
By His power we are kept in His hands.
By His power He will right all that is wrong.
By the power of His word He will come. He will not tarry.
Is the hope of your vessel hung in the sure place of Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified, risen and coming again?
If not, your hope will fail you. If so, rejoice.