To hear the Book of Ezra read to you, click on the title picture.
Ezra is a short, powerful book that tells of a prophet standing for what the Scriptures indicated to his people, the exposure of the Law to people who had lost the teachings and therefor their history, repentance, a national move to "clean house", and the restoration of a nation within a nation to once again turn to God. Some of the choices and lessons are hard, and seem beyond what we today could bear, but for this priest and leader of his people, it was better to make the tough choices and do what he did than to let his people languish in sin and never be able to return to the God of their fathers....
Note in the timelines below that Esther, Zerubbabel and Nehemiah were all interconnected, and may have even know one another, if not directly, then through the offices and positions they held. It seems that their timelines may touch or even overlap... Scholars debate the exact timelines and potential overlap, but it is evident these important Old Testament figures did stand firm on their convictions, and brought hope and help to their people, with Ezra being the chief recorder and was instrumental in the reformation of the Jewish population.
were once considered to be one book. Here is the Read Scripture 8+ minute video that covers both books as though they were again one.
Ezra Fortitude Deacon/LayLeader Joshua Justice 7 September 2014
So, ya think ya know something about standing firm, eh??? Deacon Josh may just challenge you with his sermon on Ezra and on confronting the lies of the world. Ezra gives us a picture of laying the foundations to rebuild the destruction the world offers and so easily causes... Ezra provides a model for how to read the lies, how to respond to the temptations, how to stand firm and be a force for the good. Ezra had a mandate from the king, and still had to contend with opposition by enemies that surrounded him as he worked to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The methods his enemies used are the same against which we face when we are also following a mandate from our Lord, even one sanctioned by the legal authorities and the civil structures of our times. Deacon Josh lays out the clear pattern the world will consistently use to try to halt or damage the work of God, and he shows just how we should respond so as to honor our authorities and still fulfill the work of the Lord. Fortitude... building strength by keeping on keeping on as did Ezra... following God and honoring man... thereby fulfilling the commitment he had to live under a government and show the light of the God of the Universe. You want to stand firm? Come, listen to Deacon Joshua challenge your "firm", then read about Ezra and choose to truly stand firm!
Ezra Chapter 10 Confession and Repentance An Explanation from the Guzik commentaries
What a lesson this book provides! Ignorance of the law is no defense against the consequences that may come from breaking it. The people who lived around Jerusalem, believers and non-believers, had begun to intermarry. The priests and scribes did not follow the written word because it had been at least misplaced. Once found, and read to the crowd by Ezra, a profound repentance swept the Jewish listeners. What to do now! It was obvious that by intermarrying, the people had virtually turned their backs on the God of the Universe.
Although it was done in ignorance, the real possibility of bringing a harsh judgment was imminent. They'd already lived the judgment of conquering armies and loss of the nation, and now they realized the need to return to the God of their fathers. Ezra, in wisdom, listened to the elders present and gave a length of time for the people to right the wrongs they had committed against Jehovah. Many of the intermarriages now had decisions to make. The law gave room for foreigners to come to faith, but those who did not have to leave. The following commentary by Guzik gives honor to the path of Justice and Mercy, both required by a Holy God.