Sunday, January 29th, 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.
- Read 2 Kings 17:24-41. What do we learn about these adversaries and their worship?
- Why would Israel reject help from these adversaries based on what we’ve learned in the passage from 2 Kings? How do we see that in today’s culture?
- Why does God allow opposition to take place in our life? Relate the opposition the Israelites faced in Ezra 4 to what we may face today while doing God’s will.
For Further Discussion:
In Ezra 4, the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin, also known as “the people of the land”, attempt to help them rebuild the temple of the Lord. Once they learn that the Jewish people do not wish for their help, they wrote a letter to the king of Persia urging him to discontinue the project. They offered political reasons for why this would be a bad idea (verse 12-13). In doing so, they mistook a political stance for a spiritual stance.
- What is a take away for you from this mistaken political perspective?
- How often in your life does political jargon clout Spiritual truth?
- What is one area in your life where you can try to shift your perspective from political to Spiritual?