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 Ezra is one of my heroes of the Bible. An exiled priest who helped lead the return of Jews to Jerusalem, he was known for three things–studying God’s Word, obeying it, and teaching it to others. First, he was devoted to God’s Word. This means he had read it, meditated upon it, and… Read more

14 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. 15 The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. -Ezra 6:14-15 God answered the prayers of the people… Read more

Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them. -Ezra 5:1-2 Many tend to think the message of the prophets was doom and gloom. This was… Read more

4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. 5 They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. -Ezra 4:4-5 Living obediently to God does not always equal a positive outcome. The Jews who sought to rebuild the temple were discouraged by their neighbors. These individuals even… Read more

2 Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3 Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. -Ezra 3:2-3… Read more

When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site. -Ezra 2:68 When the first Jewish families arrived in Jerusalem, Ezra notes some family leaders gave toward rebuilding the temple. Despite the need to rebuilt their own homes and provide for their own families, these devout Jews realized the need to honor God first. Many argue about giving… Read more

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia… -Ezra 1:1 Ezra begins with the fulfillment of God’s promise–the promise to restore Israel to its land following seventy years of exile. While we may not see the significance of this fulfillment, the priest Ezra noted it as being of utmost importance. Could God reveal the future seventy years… Read more

15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. -2 Chronicles 36:15-16 God’s judgment comes when there is no remedy. In Israel’s case, he sent many messengers to call his people… Read more

26 The other events of Josiah’s reign and his acts of devotion in accordance with what is written in the Law of the Lord— 27 all the events, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. -2 Chronicles 35:26-27 What will people remember about you the most when your life is over? This is a tough question to ask, but not as tough to answer. People will remember most about you what you value… Read more

Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” -2 Chronicles 34:15 When Hilkiah worked to remodel the temple, he found the Book of the Law. Apparently, Scripture had not been read in a long, long time. He gave it to Shaphan in order to share with King Josiah. We find it was not only finding the Word, but also his response to it, that changed his life and… Read more

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