Over the past while I’ve been going through the book of Ezra. It’s been a fascinating time of looking at the cost of obedience, stepping out in faith and the shock of realized disobedience.
It’s been so good to walk with the Israelites through this time. To see their failures and successes, and see their hearts change. To see that joy the Lord gave them! Oh.. it was just marvellous to see that.
But mostly it was seeing God at work in their lives. Guiding them through hostile territory, reminding them of their sin, meeting needs almost before they even knew that need existed. Wasn’t it great?
I thought it might be helpful to have a list of all the studies I have done.
Cyrus’ Proclamation. Ezra 1.
The Exiles Return. Ezra 2.
Rebuilding the Altar. Ezra 3:1-7.
Rebuilding the Foundations of the Temple. Ezra 3:8-13.
Opposition. Ezra 4:1-6.
A Letter to Artaxerxes. Ezra 4:7-16.
The King Makes a Ruling. Ezra 4:17-24.
Another Letter. Ezra 5 .
Darius’ Decree. Ezra 6:1-12.
The Temple is Completed. Ezra 6:13-18.
For the Lord Made Them Joyful. Ezra 6:19-22.
Ezra Comes. Ezra 7:1-10.
Artaxerxes makes a decree. Ezra 7:11-28
Genealogy Report. Ezra 8:1-14.
The Good Hand of our God. Ezra 8:15-20.
Shame, Fasting, Prayer, Response. Ezra 8:21-23
Levites Guard the Offering. Ezra 8:24-35.
The Shame and Prayer of Ezra. Ezra 9.
Deliberate Action: Ezra 10:1-17
Listed Names: Ezra 10:18-44.
Have you been following along in Ezra? What main themes popped out for you? Oh, you know what I just realized? The Israelites needed to build a physical temple and it was HARD work to do so. But then they were called to account for their spiritual lives. They saw the shock and horror in Ezra over their actions. They then needed to do the hard work of building up their spiritual temples as well. So hard that must have been, and yet, like in building the temple, they chose to do that hard work because God called them to it. Amazing isn’t it?
I am now trying to figure out what book of the bible I will do next. Taking suggestions on that eh? What do you think God wants me to read next?