Monday, December 12, 2011

Ezra 3 - 7

Study 2 – Ezra 3

  1. The returning exiles wanted to start things off on the right foot with the Lord. They wanted to begin at the altar offering sacrifices exactly as prescribed by the Law of Moses.

  2. They began the construction with the altar! They began with sacrifices! They began in spite of fear of those around them and what they might think.

Study 3 – Ezra 4

  1. The Jews refused the help of those that were outside of the community of God. Far too often the Church today relies more on the help of outsiders than they do on the help of the Lord. We look to grants, governments, and businesses in the community to help build the Kingdom when the Kingdom belongs to the Lord.

  2. Separation from the world comes at a price! Often that price is extremely high. That does not, however, mean that it is not a price worth paying. Our help comes from the Lord. The church is too willing to loosen its stance on sin in order to accommodate outsiders. God will build His Church and He will build it with those that He has chosen. We can never be so desperate that we look for those outside of the faith to build the Kingdom for Him.

Study 4 – Ezra 5 and 6

  1. God used the preaching of the prophet Haggai to inspire the people to renew their efforts to rebuild the Temple even though they had previously received an order to halt construction.

  2. The celebration that took place at the completion of the Temple must have been something truly amazing to have been a part of. The sacrifices alone included: 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 male lambs, and 12 male goats. All of these sacrifices took place surrounding the instillation ceremonies of the priest and Levites as well. The next thing that takes place in Ezra is the celebration of the first Passover in the newly reconstructed Temple some 70 years after the Temple of Solomon had been destroyed.

Study 5 – Ezra 7

  1. Ezra was a gifted Teacher of the Law of God and ‘the hand of the Lord was upon him.’  Artaxerxes instructed Ezra to teach all of the people of the area to obey the Law of God.

  2. The unbelievable generosity on the part of King Artaxerxes caused Ezra to burst forth in praise for the grace and mercy of that God had bestowed upon him. Without the hand of the Lord none of this would have been remotely possible.

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