This takes place after the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem (and the temple) and took many of the Israelites into exile. Ezra 7-8 picks up as the Israelites are starting to return. King Artaxerxes issues a decree that any Israelites that wish to follow Ezra back to Jerusalem may do so. Additionally, Ezra is tasked with appointing judges and magistrates to judge all of the king’s provinces.
What is the key verse? Why?
Ezra 7:6 ESV
“This Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the Lord, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.”
The king did not want the wrath of God to be against him and his sons. That is why King Artaxerxes granted Ezra all that he asked, “for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
These chapters of Ezra are a reminder that God will always prevail, and He takes care of those who are faithful to Him. He fulfills His promises and He guards our safety along the way.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
This changes my vision/view of myself because I have been grafted into God’s family, and this is a reminder that he is always taking care of me and watching out for me.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
This increases my faith and trust in the Lord, to go and do His will and be unafraid of losing the battle, because it’s already been won by God. This enables me to be more confident in my actions at work, with friends and family, and at church.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
I saw Jesus shine through God fulfilling His promise to bring the Israelites back to Jerusalem. Reading over any of God’s promises fulfilled reminds me of how Jesus allowed me to be a part of God’s family, and that now I get to share in His promises as well.
I hope this helps you see the bible with new vision!