Ezra: Consecrated to God
The two themes that run throughout this book are: Consecration and Separation.
I. 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 were to hold the land for the kingdom of Assyria. These semi-heathen Samaritans were the chief of problems in 4:1, 9, 10. They were taught to fear God and serve idols, and that they did. They are Consecrated at the Altar = Cross of Christ.
II. Separation = no intermarriage Ezra 9:1 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.
Ezra was a special servant of the Lord. This is evident in his life because he was:
I. A Skillful Teacher of the Scriptures Ezra 7:6 "this Ezra came up from Babylon; and he [was] a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him." (NKJV)
II. A Godly Man of Character Ezra 7:10 " For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do [it,] and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel." (NKJV)
III. A Thankful Servant of the Lord Ezra 7:27-28 "Blessed [be] the LORD God of our fathers, who has put [such a thing] as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem, 28 and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty princes. So I was encouraged, as the hand of the LORD my God [was] upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me." (NKJV)
IV. A Dependent Follower of God's Plan Ezra 8:21-23 "Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God [is] upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath [are] against all those who forsake Him." 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer. "(NKJV)
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