The Story – Old Testament: Ezra
In an effort to get an overview of how the Bible works, it is helpful to look at the bigger pieces of Scripture (Creation, Fall, Flood, Nations, Abraham, etc.). As we started this year looking at the larger portions of the book of Genesis, we now turn our sites to running through the remainder of the Old Testament leading up to the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Last week we looked at how the prophets warned the people of Israel that if they did not follow God’s laws that God would judge them harshly. The people’s affections for God waned and eventually both the Northern & Southern Kingdoms of Israel were taken into captivity. After several generations in exile, Ezra was among the leaders who were allowed to return to the Promised Land to rebuild. This week we talked about how Ezra sets an example for us to follow as followers of Jesus. He not only had a love for Scripture, but also a love for obeying it and then teaching it to others. When he saw the sins of the people who had returned from the exile, he cried out to God on their behalf – not as one who stood above the sin and casts blame, but as one of the sinners who desperately wanted to see God change his countrymen’s hearts. From this position of humility, God heard Ezra’s pleas and the people saw his brokenness over their sin and repented. Is there someone in your radius that would benefit from you being a good priest and jumping into the ditch with them to help plead with God on their behalf?
If you would like to begin a conversation about following Jesus or would like to talk more about how your story and the Gospel connect, we would love to hear from you.