Phillip Graham Ryken writes in Thermelios: Ezra was a great man—one of the all-time heroes of the faith. He had the will to lead; he had a heart for holiness; he had a mind for biblical truth. If we want to follow his example, we should ask what made him so great and so good. What … More The gracious hand of God
Ray Stedman, in a 1965 sermon, “Ezra:The Way Back” comments on the events of Ezra 6: The minute the people began to turn back to God, he also turned the hearts of the kings, Darius and Artaxerxes, and they issued the decree that started the temple work again. Finally the work was finished. In chapter … More Celebrating the passover…again
Ray Stedman on Ezra 4-5 (from a sermon “Ezra: The Way Back”) The third factor in this return under Zerubbabel is the opposition that immediately develops, as we read in chapters 4 through 6. A force is at work in every human heart, as in world affairs, that immediately rises up to oppose everything that … More Beware the veil of friendship
Stephen Cole, of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship comments on Ezra 3- Note first that both personal and corporate worship focus on God and affirm by faith His goodness and covenant love (3:11). Worship requires skillful musicians (3:10), but if the focus is on them, you’re into entertainment, not worship. Worship praises the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness … More Where is the focus? entertainment or worship?
John Piper, in “A Hunger for God” p 166: Israel had been taken into Babylonian exile. They had been there for decades. Now the time had come, in God’s reckoning, for their restoration. But how could this happen? They were a tiny, obscure ethnic minority in the massive Persian empire. The answer is that God rules empires. And when … More Piper: God never leaves his prophesies dangling uncertainly
Since we have just finished reading Ezra and Nehemiah, this article will bless you- John Piper, at Desiring God Blog: Here’s another reason I am joyfully committed to expository exultation, that is, preaching. Look at this amazing statement of what biblical exposition is like when it’s done well—in the power of God’s Spirit and riveted … More Getting “the sense”
Phillip Graham Ryken writes in Thermelios: Ezra also had a mind for biblical truth. Perhaps the best example comes from Nehemiah 8, where Ezra gathers the Israelites to renew the covenant in Jerusalem. The heart of that renewal was the reading and preaching of God’s Word. Ezra gathered people in the square in front of the … More Faithful Gospel Preaching
Pastor Steven J. Cole of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship comments on Ezra 9: Because we are so desensitized toward sin, we fail to have the proper response toward it, whether it is our own sin, or sin in others. We minimize it, justify it, or ignore it and go on our way unaffected by it. If … More How a person reacts to the news of sin tells a lot about that person.
Ezra was ashamed to ask King Artaxerxes for an escort because he previously had told him, The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him. (Ezra 8:22) Almost as if Ezra knew Romans 8:28 says, And we know that for those … More Trust in God’s Good Hand
Phillip Graham Ryken writes in Thermelios: Ezra was a great man—one of the all-time heroes of the faith. He had the will to lead; he had a heart for holiness; he had a mind for biblical truth. If we want to follow his example, we should ask what made him so great and so good. What … More Ezra’s Unrelenting Ambition