Ministry of the word - building the people Ezra 7
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.
1. Who was Ezra and how would you describe him? Ezra 7: 1-6, 10
2. Describe the mission, favour and work that Ezra set out to do? Ezra 7:11-26
3. Why do you think knowledge of God's word and His ways is vital to the work we are called to do with Him?
4. What was Ezra's response to the favour and wisdom he had received from the Lord? Ezra 7:27- 28
5. How can we express our thanks for the wisdom and favour that God has given us?
6. What steps did Ezra take to ensure his safe journey to Jerusalem? Ezra 8: 21-23
7. What promises has God given us with regards to our safety and protection? Hint Psalm 91
8. What role does prayer and fasting play for the Christian today?
9. What was the first problem Ezra faced on arriving Jerusalem?
Ezra 9: 1-4
10. Mention some ways we as Christians can compromise our standing with the Lord today?
11. Explain how Ezra dealt with the issue of mixed marriages? Ezra 9:5-16; 10:1-19
12. What does it mean to repent of wrong ways?
13. How can we find our way back to peace with God when we go astray?
Ezra 7:10 sums up neatly the type of person Ezra was.
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.
He received great favour from the King of Babylon and was given the financial resources to go and complete the work.
It had been 60 years since the temple had been rebuilt. The people were starting to make compromises in their faith.
God's word is vital in sustaining our work with God. The word gives us the principles and guidelines to live by.
Ezra did not hold the word in isolation but also embraced prayer, fasting and repenting on behalf of the people.
Ezra was crucial in the survival of Israel as a people of God. In fact many Bible scholars consider him to be a second Moses. He corrected the people and brought them a clear understanding of God's word.
What role does the word of God play in your life?
Our next Bible study will continue with the book of Nehemiah.
Read our guidelines on 'how to lead a bible study discussion group' before commencing the questions.