Sep 5th 2009, 06:00 PM
From the Foreword in my Bible:-
Ezra is the Aramaic . . . word 'help' and perhaps means 'Yahweh helps'. Ezra and Nehemiah were originally one book, because Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah were viewed as one continuous history. Ezra relates the story of two returns from Babylon - the first led by Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple (1-6) and the second under the leadership of Ezra to rebuild the spiritual condition of the people (7-10). Sandwiched between those two accounts is a gap of nearly six decades during which Esther lives and rules as queen in Persia.
What did I learn of God? - He is able to motivate people to fulfill what He has foretold. (eg. Cyrus to fulfill Jeremiah's prophecy too rebuild the Temple and take back the 5,400 articles taken by Nebuchadnezzar).
What did I learn of myself? - Am I Glorifying the Lord in the way He wants me to - perhaps to fulfill His Word to someone else?
What did I praise God for? - Always keeping His Word.
What did I pray for? - thankfulness that He motivates me to do what will bring Him Glory in some way.
What is this saying in one sentence? - Cyrus, king of Persia, encouraged some Jews to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.
Sep 6th 2009, 04:29 PM
What did I learn of God? - He knows each of His people and who He can rely on to follow Him.
What did I learn of myself? - I will be excluded from God's heavenly Home if my name is not written in His book of Life. Am I prepared to leave a life of relative ease to obey the Lord?
What did I praise God for? - knowing each of His people's anscestory.
What did I pray for? - to always be willing to face hardship to perform a service for the Lord.
What is this saying in one sentence? - the record of the approximately 50,000 Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon in 537BC.
Sep 7th 2009, 07:54 PM
What did I learn of God? - He may take His people to desolate places to work hard and meet opposition to Glorify Him.
What did I learn of myself? - Do I continue to do the Lord's Will in spite of difficulties and fear? Is Glorifying God more important to me than anything else? if so I will be joyful and/or emotional as I glorify Him in the way He specifies in His Word.
What did I praise God for? - All the ways He motivates me to worship Him.
What did I pray for? - to face difficulties in His Name, in spite of opposition.
What is this saying in one sentence? - the altar and foundations of the Temple were erected and worship restored.
Sep 8th 2009, 06:42 PM
What did I learn of God? - Even though His people are doing His Will He allows opposition to them.
What did I learn of myself? - When I meet opposition do I assume what I am doing does not please the Lord? When the opposition is from 'outsiders' do I continue, knowing it may mean I am in the center of God's Will? Do I trust the
Lord to complete what He has enabled me to start, in His Time and in his Way?
What did I praise God for? - always finishing what He begins.
What did I pray for? - to always know, guided by God's Peace, what He wants me to do from day to day without doubt.
What is this saying in one sentence? - Opposition to re-build Jerusalem
Sep 9th 2009, 05:18 PM
What did I learn of God? - He speaks to His people. When He is sorely provoked by His people they will be punished.
What did I learn of myself? - Do I heed what God says Do I provoke Him to anger by my disobedience? Might difficulties I experience be because I have disobeyed God? or so others will learn of His Power? or because my obedience to God is a threat to those who don't know Him?
What did I praise God for? - He ensures that all things ultimately work together for the good of those who obey Him.
What did I pray for? - to keep trusting the Lord in spite of difficulties.
What is this saying in one sentence? - After God spoke through Haggai and Zechariah the Jews resumed the restoration of the Temple.
Sep 10th 2009, 05:09 PM
What did I learn of God? - He ensures the completion of work He instigates. Those who serve Him must be purified. He gives His people Joy when they complete tasks He gives them.
What did I learn of myself? - do I 'build the House of God by telling others of Jesus' sacrifice and their need to repent? or do I hinder those engaged in this Work? Do I search God's Word to ensure what I share with others is accurate? (eg. do I speak of the Wrath of God as well as of His Love?) do I repent (turn away from) all Sin in my life so that I can serve God?
What did I praise God for? - Ensuring everything He encourages His people to begin will be completed.
What did I pray for? - to always ensure I am spiritually 'clean'.
What is this saying in one sentence? - Darius issued a decree, the Temple was completed and dedicated and Passover celebrated.
Sep 11th 2009, 04:51 PM
What did I learn of God? - He motivated King Antaxerxes to send Ezra, the priest and scribe, to Israel with silver and gold and orders that whatever was needed for worshipping God be given him, also he was given authority to appoint magistrates and judges to ensure the law of both God and the king was upheld. He enabled Ezra to travel from Babylon to Jerusalem in 4 months.
What did I learn of myself? - Am I as determined to study God's Word as Ezra was? Do I do all the Lord tells me to do trusting Him with the outcome?
What did I praise God for? - desiring the best for His people.
What did I pray for? - that those in authority will be motivated to encourage me to do all the Lord requires of me.
What is this saying in one sentence? - Ezra went from Babylon to Israel with the king's authority to obtain all that was needed for worshipping God, and also to appoint those to keep law and order for God and the king.
Quote:- (LawrenceO. Richards) "Ezra reminds us that a person who is determined to serve the Lord will find a way - and possibly have an even greater impact in that role than in the role he or she is denied."
Sep 12th 2009, 05:18 PM
Ezra 8What did I learn of God? - He knows the name of each person who desires to obey Him. He answers the prayers of those determined to glorify His Name. He expects His people to keep account of everything consecrated to Him. He protects His possessions.
What did I learn of myself? - Is my name in God's Book of Life(Rev. 35 and 20:12)? Do I fast and pray for God's Protection of all that has been consecrated to Him? Do I trust God enough to tell others of His Power at work, or do I keep quiet - fearful that He might not demonstrate His Power when asked? Do I make free-will offerings to God's Work? Am I offended if I am asked to account for everything I have been entrusted with or am I grateful that I am held accountable (eg. of the reliability of my 'interpretation' of God's Word)? Do I support God's Work financially?
What did I praise God for? - His Protection.
What did I pray for? - Wisdom to know how He wants me to speak to those who devalue His Word (particularly church leaders)
What is this saying in one sentence? - Record of those who returned to Jerusalem; the servants of, and gifts for, the Temple; fasting and prayer for protection on the journey, and the people’s arrival.
Sep 13th 2009, 06:57 PM
Ezra 9 + 10
What did I learn of God? - He does not turn away from His people when they are in difficulty or slavery as a result of their Sin.
What did I learn of myself? - Is my faith in God a 'marriage' of truth and error? a mixture of God's Word and the wisdom of un-Godliness? (eg. a mixture of belief in Creation and Evolution?) Is the guilt of other Christians my guilt too? Am I prepared to demonstrate my wholehearted allegiance to God? Am I a good witness to others of the purity God requires of His people? Do I grieve over, or be judgmental of, the Sins of others?
What did I praise God for? - pointing out His people's Sins.
What did I pray for? - to know in what way I displease God, so I can repent.
What is this saying in one sentence? - Intermarriage with pagans, and the determination to please God.
Quote:- (Angela of Foligno) "the world doth scoff at what I now say, namely that man may weep for his neighbour's Sin as for his own, for it seems to be contrary to nature. But the love which brings this about is not of this world."