As I progress through the Bible, I will study both testaments. I finished the Gospel of Luke yesterday. Today, I begin the book of Ezra. It covers Israel’s history from approximately 538 through 424 B.C. It discusses Israel’s second Exodus from captivity, and demonstrates God’s faithfulness to redeem His people.
The helpful study practice for today is this: after you pray and ask Jesus to teach you what He wants you to learn (see yesterday’s Future and Hope Blog), then read carefully the Bible passage for the day. If necessary, refer to the preceding and following sections as necessary, so that you read the passage in its full context.
Bible Study, Ezra 1:1-11
What is the main point? God fulfills His promise to the captive children of Israel. The promise is proclaimed by Jeramiah and Daniel. God abundently supplies His people with what they will need to re-build the temple in Jerusalem.
What does God reveal about Himself? He demonstrates His ability to work through anyone, including a heathen King.
What insights into my life? God stirred the spirit of the King (verse 1) and the hearts of the people (verse 5) to accomplish His will. Because Terri Schiavo clings to life, I still have hope that God may yet perform a miracle to stir the hearts of our nation’s leaders to save and rebuild her life.
How can I honor God with this information? I want to always remember to wait on the Lord to stir me to action. How can I know if it is Him and not my own ambition? First by choosing to wait. Second, I must choose to trust Him and respect His ability to communicate with me. Finally, I must listen carefully for He uses a variety of communication tools (friends, family, co-workers, my pastor, and His written Word, just to name a few).
Where is God working today? I am praying that our legal system will extend mercy to Terri Schiavo, something that they could choose to do and let her live (See Blogs for Terri). I trust that God knows exactly what He is doing and that He will accomplish His purpose.