Finding Christ in Ezra
EZRA: While Gautama Buddha was living and teaching in
We can outline this book into two clear sections:
I. The Return under Cyrus by Zerubbabel 1:1-6:22 and the Rebuilding of the
II. The return under Artaxerxes by Ezra 7:1-10:44 and the Rebuilding of the People.
God had told the Jews they would return in the writings of Jeremiah 70 years before it happened. Isaiah had also written 170 years before, that the one who would accomplish the bidding of God was not even a believer. He would be a pagan king named Cyrus! God names him before he even was born.
The two themes that run throughout this book are: Consecration and Separation.
I. God wants Consecrated servants! Consecration is seen in the desire the people and their leaders had to restore the true worship of the Lord. The people of God faced great opposition, their adversaries were half breeds from the time of II Kings 17. Pagans imported by the Assyrians to hold the land for the
II. God wants separated Servants! Separation = no intermarriage Ezra 9:1 When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, "The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. (NKJV). Separation is seen in the work of Ezra. He was earnest in his desire to purify the people of God and never turned back. He found 112 cases of intermarriage in direct disobedience to Mosaic law and dealt with every one of them.
A. WORLDLINESS blocks! 1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that [is] in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (NKJV) James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (NKJV)
B. PILGRIMHOOD brings! Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced [them] and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (NKJV)
C. ONE MASTER Blesses! Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (NKJV)
III. Ezra teaches precious truths about God, Worship and Sin.
A. The Lord of Heaven and Earth can be KNOWN: Ezra 1:2 Thus says Cyrus king of
B. The Lord of Heaven and Earth can be WORSHIPED: Ezra 3:11-13 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: "For [He is] good, For His mercy [endures] forever toward
C. The Lord of Heaven and Earth can be SINNED AGAINST: Ezra 9:3-4 So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice. (NKJV)
IV. Ezra traces the major steps in the victorious Christians life. These are traced through the steps the Remnant of Israel had to take in following God.
A. They had to return to the Land [1-2] This is confession and obedience, back to a proper relationship with God. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)
B. They had to rebuild the Altar [3:1-6] This is the renewal of their position as the chosen sons and daughters of God. This speaks of our consecration as we return to the foot of the cross and reaffirm His ownership. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit [who is] in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (NKJV)
C. They had to rebuild the
D. They had to resist and overcome Adversaries  This is learning how to deal with TEMPTATION- 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (NKJV)
E. They had to listen to the Prophets [5:1-6:14] This has to do with our relationship to the Word and the Spirit Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (NKJV)
F. They had to finish the
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.