Sunday, January 22th, 2016
Ezra is a book centered on fresh awakenings and new beginnings. Capturing the Sovereign God’s dedication to His covenant promises, the book is broken up into two sections governed by two different returns of the Jewish community from exile to the promised land. The first section, in chapters 1-6 focuses on the rebuilding of the temple while the second section chapters 7-10 focuses on Ezra as scribe and priest and his administration of God’s law. The book teaches us about God’s sovereignty and His faithfulness to His promises as well as our obligation to faithfulness, purity, and holiness.
Questions for this week:
- In Ezra 1, God sovereignly uses a foreign king to issue a decree for the Jewish people to return to their land and rebuild His temple, thus showing His commitment to His covenant promises. How have you seen God’s faithfulness in your life in this season?
- In Ezra 2, we have a recorded list of the names of all the families who made the first return to help with the rebuilding of the temple. The list would remind future descendants how faithful God was to bring a remnant back to the land as well as the faithfulness of the community to answer the call. What call has God placed on your life? Do you trust Him in that? Have you responded to that call?
- In Ezra 3, why do the older priests who “had seen the former temple” weep aloud? Were they tears of sorrow or joy? Read Isaiah 40. Why was their response different from the shouts of praise that others had?
- In Ezra 3, why do the older priests who “had seen the former temple” weep aloud? Were they tears of sorrow or joy? Why was their response different from the shouts of praise that others had?