Ezra is the story of the return of Jews from captivity in Babylon. In earlier writings Ezra and Nehemiah were just one book. There are differences that can be seen especially into the beginning of Nehemiah.
Ezra is also accredited with writing Chronicles 1 and 2; Ezra picks up where he leaves of at the end of 2 Chronicles. He records the accounts of the two returns of a small remnant of Jews from exile. As a priest , Ezra continues his goal of providing a priestly and spiritual perspectives on Judah’s historical events. In addition, Ezra believes a record of the building of the second temple could be a helpful reminder of the remnant’s link ti the first temple.
At first, the exiles arrived with high hopes, eager to rebuild the temple and put God back at the center of national life. But the task was great and the opposition was demoralizing and was a great hindrance to them. The rebuilding grinds to a halt, because of the opposition. But the work begins again, at the urging of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah who arrive later.
Jerusalem’s second temple is completed, 70 years after Salomon’s temple was destroyed.
Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Ezra discovers that many to the Jewish men have ignored the law against marrying non-Jewish women. even some of the priests and temple workers had also done this.
Ezra goes to the temple courtyard and begins praying and weeping on behalf of the people. Ezra knows that because of their association with non-Jews, led to idolatry, which brought on the exile, and fears they may be punished again for disobeying God.
Ezra speaks to the people, and tells them they have broken God’s law by intermarrying and they must confess their sins to the Lord their God.The assembly of people agrees.
The Book of Ezra is a message of God’s continuing covenant grace to His people as promised in Jeremiah 29 verse 14: :I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.” God restored His chosen people from their captivity , and God continues to show His mercy and grace to each new generation of His people. No matter how difficult your present ‘Captivity,” you are never far removed from God’s love and mercy. Restoration and transformation is available each time when we return to Him. and is available to any ‘Whosoever’.
Ezra is a story of exiles return from captivity, which leads to a reflection from all our returns from the Captivity of sin, because of what Our Lord and Our Friend did for us. The foundation of God’s work in our lives can begin once we have been released from the bondage of sin.
Things to remember from Ezra: God fulfills His promises – even when things seem bleak.
Read Ezra and glean excitement.
O F J.