Saturday, 18 October 2014

Ezra 6-10

Here's how the study works: Read the chapters mentioned in the heading during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for several chapters creates the opportunity to revisit them and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan said...

6:3-4 In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid. It is to be sixty cubits high and sixty cubits wide.

Solomon's temple was "sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high" (1 Kings 6:2).

So the new temple was suppose to be bigger than Solomon's. Furthermore Cyrus was prepared to pay for it, yet it seems it was not built this big (3:12).

Why wasn't it built to specifications?

Susan said...

7:27-28 Praise be to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way and who has extended his good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials. Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.

Ezra acknowledged God's enabling grace (hand of the Lord) which gave him courage to make the long journey. God also put it in the king's heart to grant Ezra favour.

When we acknowledge God's enabling he is able to show us favour. When we insist on being self-sufficient he cannot.

Susan said...

8:22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.”

Perhaps when Ezra said this to the king he wasn't thinking of a trip to Jerusalem?

Make sure we have the faith to back up our statements! Fortunately Ezra did.

Susan said...

9:4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.

From Constable's commentary: "Ezra identified with the body of believers even though he had not personally participated in their sin."

This may seem strange to us with our Western mind set. Yet, it is also what Jesus did - identified with us.

Susan said...

10:4 Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.

Shekaniah agreed to support Ezra and therefore Ezra was greatly encouraged to take courage.

How we need people like Shekaniah so that leaders can take courage.