♦Ezra was a priest, a direct descendant of Aaron. ♦He was born in Babylon, but got permission to lead the people to go back to Jerusalem .
Ezra was very upset about the way of life of Israelites and wanted to do something about it.
The book of Ezra is a time of new beginnings for the people of Judah.
They have come out of captivity to the broken ruins of Jerusalem and the temple. They have work to be done.
They need a new start. Ezra, and several other men of God, led the people to rebuild the temple to God. For most of us, the New Year is a new beginning; … a fresh start, a second chance, a clean slate, a resolution to do better, etc.
It is filled with hope and possibilities.
New Beginnings are possible no matter how far we have gone off track.
New Beginnings must start off humbly. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
When we come to Christ, ………... God gives us …. ♦a whole new life: ♦a new relationship, ♦a new citizenship, ♦a new family, ♦a new purpose, ♦a new power, ♦a new destiny.
It's the beginning of a whole new life. Let’s stay focused on the one guiding us: Christ.
God's move - in the Heart of a King
After 70 years of exile, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy through the prophet Jeremiah. King Cyrus, who didn't know the living God, ordered to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem! The Bible clearly says that "God moved the heart of Cyrus " to give such an order.
God moved the hearts of the people to come together to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. They were given all that they needed to build the Temple. They appointed priests according to their genealogy to do priestly tasks. The first thing they did was - rebuilt the Altar and sacrificed offerings to the Lord who had been merciful to them and released them from captivity.
When the Lord wants to accomplish His will, He will use anyone,.anywhere to fulfil it. He provides all the necessary things and money and people will rise up in unity to do God's work.
We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit who moves people's hearts and should be sensitive to His leading through God's Word. The second thing the people did was - rebuilt the Temple - laying foundation with shouts of joy. The elders who saw the former Temple cried loudly and one could not make a difference between the joyful tears and sorrowful tears.
When we bend our knees before God, remembering His acts of kindness, we shed tears of joy. Whenever we try to do God's will, especially in ministry, Satan tries to stop us by raising opposition or discouragement. We need not be afraid of opposition as God who begins a particular work will help to finish though there will be hindrances.
Dear Reader, take courage through His work." He who has begun a good work in you will finish it".
Ezra 3:8Why was the Lord's temple begun first, even before the city wall? The temple was used for spiritual purposes; the wall, for military and political purposes. God had always been the nation's protector, and the Jews knew that the strongest stone wall would not protect them if God was not with them.
They knew putting their Spiritual lives in order was a far higher priority than assuring the national defense.
In prayers, Nisha - Canada
Short Guilt account
Ezra 9When Ezra was told of his countrymen intermarriage with foreign women he offered a penitent intercessory prayer on behalf of the holy race for their unfaithfulness of having mingled with neighbours of detestable practices .
His reaction of sitting appalled with torn tunic and cloak till the evening sacrifice upon learning of the people's unfaithfulness was very unique in a sense that when he prayed "our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens" he made him also part of their corporate guilt.
We will be held accountable not only for our individual guilt but also for our corporate guilt as we are all part of a family of children of Ģod.
Ezra prayed that "from the days of our forefathers until now, our guilt has been great (v7)" and Israelites were punished for these generational curses. This shows that guilt is cumulative in nature and hence shouldn't be allowed to grow and need be broken. We can also infer that the generational curses need to be broken in order to receive God's blessings (v12)
Ezra's reaction of penitence and intercession was swift without any defense or covering up of their guilt as a race clearly tells us that we need to keep short account of our individual and corporate guilt with God.
Three things we learn from Ezra's intercessory prayer. 1. We need to confess both our individual and corporate guilt. 2. We need to keep short account of our guilt with God by our swift confession 3. Generational curses need to be broken in order to receive God's blessing
EZRA, the priest, teacher and prayer warrior.
Ezra, the priest and teacher was a descendent of the High Priest Aaron. Ezra was living in Babylon, whom Artaxerxes, King of Persia, sent to Jerusalem in 457 BC, to teach the laws of God to anyone who did not know them. He was a teacher well versed in the law of Moses.(7:6) Ezra led a large body of exiles back to Jerusalem.(7:7)
"For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel".(Ezra.7:10).
When he arrived , he was shocked to discover that his people had intermingled with the pagan nations that surround Jerusalem and are following their detestable practices. Many Jews including some priests married non Jewish women.(9:1,2)
"When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled".(9:3) ..fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed.(9:5).
His sincere confession and prayer helped people to understand their sins and they also confessed their sins.
"While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites....They too wept bitterly". (Ezra.10:1) He was so disturbed about the unfaithfulness of his people, he ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles" (10:6)
Because he helped people to realize their mistakes, they made a covenant to send away their non Jewish wives and children and acted accordingly.(Ezra.10)
The prayerful action of Ezra resulted in correcting a national mistake.
How devoted are we in our study and observance of God's word and teaching it to others? Are we keeping ourselves seperate from the detestable practices of the people around us? How do we react when we see Christians living with the faith and practices of others? How is our prayer for the mistakes of Christians and Churches?
"O Lord, save the King! Answer us when we call!" (Psalm 20:9)Psalm 20 was a prayer written by David to be offered before the battle…
The purpose of this programme is to read and study Bible in 240 days from 20th Oct. 2019 to 15th June 2020. Please share us if you found any unrelated information. Inviting you to join our 240 Days Bible Reading WhatsApp Group 3947Pray for the group members 💒