Today is Day 36 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
I hope you’re sticking in there so far with your Bible reading – I know it’s a lot, but it’s worth the extra time commitment. Make sure you’re keeping track of how much you’re reading each day (whichever Bible reading plan you’re using – even your own), and when NINETY is over, we’ll figure out how much we read collectively over the summer!
As you may remember, one thing I mentioned in my blog about the book of Joshua was that it is a fulfillment of a long-standing promise from God to give Canaan to Israel. The books of Joshua & Ezra (and Nehemiah) have that in common – they’re fulfillments of God’s promise.
The difference, of course, was that Ezra takes place after they had already conquered the land, then fell into idolatry, were carried off into slavery, then brought back. God used Ezra (as well as Zerubbabel & Nehemiah) to fulfill His promises to His people, by restoring their land.
Ezra is divided into 2 main sections – the first that deals with rebuilding the Temple and the second that deals with restoring morals and Law in the Jewish culture, and bringing the people to a place of repentance.
The man Ezra holds a special place in my heart because one of his main tasks was to teach the Bible.
Ezra 7:10 – For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
He was a pastor (or as the Bible calls him, a priest). He had the high and weighty calling of teaching the Bible to the people and helping them to get back on track with God. He didn’t take his job lightly, just as I don’t, and as you should not – whatever your role in ministry happens to be.
The best part is, it worked! By Ezra chapter 10, the people drop to their knees in repentance and begin a major life-change! THAT is what ministry is all about. We pastors live to see these things!
Ezra is all about rebuilding, restoration, and repentance – all things that must take place after sin has entered. Why? Because sin destroys things…but I don’t need to tell you that – you already knew it. You have felt, on some level, the devastation and destruction of sin. If you let it go too long, it will completely demolish things and you’ll have to start again from scratch. That’s all the more reason to repent and begin rebuilding NOW!
Let the book of Ezra be a reminder that God is ready to bring you back and help you start over – no matter how far you’ve run away!
As you read the book of Nehemiah today, keep those thoughts in mind. Ezra rebuilt the Temple and the Law, Nehemiah rebuilds the walls!