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Adult Bible Study Guide – 4nd quarter 2019

 

Bible study guide - Ezra and Nehemiah-4th quarter 2019

 

EZRA AND NEHEMIAH

This quarter’s lessons, on Ezra and Nehemiah, illustrate that life is complicated. As soon as we try to do good things, obstacles appear, and opposition arises. Even friends may openly or secretly oppose us and, perhaps, become our enemies. Hurdles and resistance to good demonstrate that Satan is alive, and that sin is real. Fighting Satan is humanly impossible because evil is stronger than we are. Only God can secure victory, revolutionize thinking, and give us power to live balanced lives.

Yet, neither the book of Ezra nor Nehemiah ends with optimism. Sin is a serious matter, spreading easily and quickly. The biggest challenge does not come from outside, but from infidelity to God with His own people not following His revealed will. To be faithful to the Lord and persevere in following His instruction is the strongest test for God’s church. As Ezra correctly understood, the only power to change comes through diligently searching the Scriptures, comprehending, and internalising them.

The key theological themes of these two books are God’s providence, faithfulness, and covenant. God fulfilled His promises, even though His people were narrow-minded, disoriented, distracted, and stubborn. Through His servants, He called them from their state of lethargy to revival and reformation.

Ezra and Nehemiah are historically linked, and they cover a crucial transition in the life of God’s people. These 23 chapters form one big story, but with subunits; they are complementary and cover similar theological issues. By carefully studying the pattern revealed in the composition of these two books, we can discern God’s great historical actions and gracious leadership.

As we study God’s Word this quarter, may the Lord bless us by inspiring us, touching our hearts, transforming our thinking, and enabling us daily to follow Him faithfully and enthusiastically. 
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