The Bible Series Ezra

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The Bible Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:08
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The governing leaders of this nation bring an individual pause and concern. It seems each day the news is filled with more corruption, lies, and reports that just make one shake their head in disgust.
It would be a grave danger however to allow these news reports, and public opinion to shape one’s theology concerning our leaders and authorities.
The times were no better, and in many ways for worse when these words in scripture were written concerning our authorities…
In 1 Peter 2:13-14 we read:
1 Peter 2:13–14 NASB95
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
We are challenged by Paul when we read Romans 13:1-2
Romans 13:1–2 NASB95
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
Easy to follow this until they do something stupid or something we disagree with or makes us uncomfortable… The people of Israel would relate to you in this…
However as we continue our study through the scriptures we see and observe a DIVINE VIEW OF HISTORY… That needs to IMPACT OUR VIEW OF TODAY…!!!

Divine Authority

God uses a global dictator like Nebuchadnezzar to do His bidding to bring discipline to the people… YET!!! It is this all powerful dictator that writes this of our God in Daniel 4:34-35
The people would be in exile and the prophet Jeremiah sent by God would deliver this message to the people in Jeremiah 29:10-14
We see this come to pass as we read the last 2 verses of Chronicles and the opening verses of Ezra 1:1-3NOTICE verse 3!
Cyrus used by God but God knew He would and put him in power… all the way back in Isaiah 44:28-45:2
We see that Daniel works with all of these Rulers from Nebuchadnezzar to Darius.
Darius is used to reinvigorate the building of the temple.
Next God raises up a King Artexerxes… God uses him to send back the 2nd group of people to Jerusalem!
In a few weeks we will see how God uses him to preserve the Jewish people as a whole as well. (Esther)
Artexerxes is also the one who sends Nehemiah back to build the walls!
It was God who put each of these men in Power for His Purpose working through them for His Plan! The book of Ezra is a continuation of God’s Working…

Divine View of History

Most likely Ezra and Nehemiah were one book as well
Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah are really one long Divine View of History most probable written by Ezra the Priest and Esther is woven into this historical account as well
Chronicles
King David
Temple
Good Kings
Exile
Ezra Pt 1 - 1st Return / Rebuild Temple
Esther - Jews Preserved
Ezra Pt 2 - 2nd Return / Rebuild People
Nehemiah - 3rd Return / Rebuild Walls
When we look over Ezra we see two distinct sections that have similar characteristics…

Ezra Overview

The theme is RESTORATION… we observe the Temple and Worship but also of the People
We see in each section God raises up Individuals to draw people to Himself!
We see that in each section there are obstacles…
Doing what God desires will face resistance
We see there is a climax that leaves us wanting more
Chapters 1-6 deal with Rebuilding the Temple
God uses Zerubbabel to lead this… a prince from the line of King David
The work is halted due to adversaries
God uses King Darius to intervene and make another decree
God uses His prophets Haggai & Zechariah to encourage the people
God is pleased with the sacrifices and Passover reinstated
There is a lack of awe and wonder like the first Temple… Ezra 3:12-13
Chapters 7-10 deals with Reforming the People
There is 75 years between the two returns to Jerusalem
God uses Ezra! Notice in Ezra 7:10 how Ezra is described!!!
Ezra 7:10 NASB95
For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Ezra is used to build up the people in God’s Word, establish spiritual leadership and rulers for the people
There is a spiritual obstacle to the spiritual growth of the people… SIN!!!
Ezra tears his cloths and rips out his hair, grieving over the sin
The people especially the leadership has taken PAGAN WIVES
Their gods and practices
The people deal with the sin by divorcing and sending the wives and even children away!!!
“Two wrongs don’t make a right”???
Sin is serious and needs dealt with
Malachi 2:16 … God hates divorce.
We see in this book… Worship is central to a relationship with God and… SIN is detestable and only causes hurt and pain to the sinner and those around them. IT IS SERIOUS!
We see there is a climax that leaves us wanting more

Our Authority

If this world was all there was… ANY climatic event would fall short, there would always be a wanting, a desire for something GOD SIZED!
As we see GOD preserve and bring His people back we find hope
The Messiah will as Isaiah stated come from Bethlehem NOT Babylon
He is faithful even with a REMNANT...
That word remnant… only a small portion of people returned
Judah, Levi, and Benjamin and even small ones of the other tribes
How easy it would be to look and grow discouraged… unfortunately wide is the road that leads to Hell
The call went out to ALL the Jews yet some chose to stay where they were
A right view of authority is equivalent with a right view of God!
God our Authority… Are you comfortable with that???… Can you trust Him???
God used Pagan Kings (unwilling servants)
God used faithful men
God used a teacher
God wants to use you!
ALL for His plan and purpose… exactly in His time!
May we have hearts like Ezra’s that cries out…
I want to STUDY your word, PRACTICE what it teaches, and TRAIN others to do the same!
What a privilege it is to be a WILLING SERVANT of our Great God
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