The book of Ezra
We have divided the book of Ezra into three parts for this study.
A quick overview of the book is below.
1. Laying the foundation - restoring worship - Ezra 1- 3.
Following the decree of King Cyprus of Persia, Zerubbabel and Jeshua (or Joshua) led the first group of exiles back to Jerusalem from Babylon. They begin work on the altar, restored the offering of sacrifices and laid the foundation of the temple. The worship of God was brought back to Jerusalem.
When God begins to move true and fervent worship is the first thing that is normally rejuvenated.
2. Prophecy withstands opposition - Ezra 4 - 6.
The enemies of Israel eventually managed to halt the work of rebuilding Jerusalem led by Zerubbabel and Jeshua. All work was ceased for 15 years.
The enemy will always oppose the counsel of God.
God sent two prophets named Haggai and Zechariah to encourage His people. Their ministry revived the work and the temple was completed within four years of their arrival.
Prophecy should bring clarity of God's will to our lives.
3. Ministry of the word - building the people - Ezra 7-10.
About 60 years after the completion of the temple Ezra arrives in Jerusalem with another group of returning exiles from Babylon. He begins to teach the people the word of God. He rebukes their compromise with the heathen nations around them. The word of God starts to build up the people and gives them a firm foundation.
God's will is sustained and moved forward by the knowledge of His word.