EZRA AND NEHEMIAH -Commitment-
Ezra was a priest, a scribe and a great leader. His whole life was dedicated to serving God and God's people. Ezra knew God's Word, obeyed and taught it. He prayed to God on behalf of the Jewish Nation's sin when he arrived in Jerusalem with the second group of Jewish exiles from the Kingdom of Persia.
The Temple had already been built and his task was to administer the affairs of the Jewish Religion in the Land of Judah, decreed by the King of Persia.(The Persian Empire conquered the Babylonian Empire) He found the City of Jerusalem without protective walls and the people surrounded by hostile neighbours.
Ezra had been a prominent man in the Persian Kingdom, because of his personal commitment to live for God and not himself. He always acknowledged the blessings and goodness of God. The King himself gave much treasure to Ezra and so did the people in the Persian Kingdom for the building of the City of Jerusalem.
He taught God's Word to the people and when Nehemiah arrived as Governor, a few years later with a third group of exiles, God used them both in the rebuilding of Jerusalem and a spiritual refreshing throughout the Nation of Judah.
Nehemiah took leave from a responsible position in the Persian Kingdom. He was influential and his prominent office was to insure the quality of food for the Royal Family.
He had been given permission to have an absence of leave from his position serving the King, to encourage his fellow countrymen to rebuild the walls of The City of Jerusalem, which was not only the Capital City of the Jewish Nation but also its Holy City.
God works through His people and although Nehemiah was not a powerful man of authority himself, but he had the complete trust of the King, who agreed and gave his consent. Nehemiah was a man of God, he walked and talked with God, and God helped him accomplish tasks that seemed impossible.
God had given Nehemiah the ability to become a planner, and organizer and could motivate and encourage God's people to continue with the tasks of God. He learnt that prayer and groundwork went together, and always to be focused on the purposes of God.
When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, not only were the city walls in ruin so were the lives of the people and together with Ezra the two men, with the help of God, rebuilt not only the wall of Jerusalem but the whole Nation of Judah in the keeping of God's standards and principles in all manner of living.
The rebuilding of the walls took place approximately 440 B.C. and about 100 years after the City of Jerusalem was destoyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, and as the exiles began to return to their homeland, the surrounding population did not want them to be powerful and reign over them as they had before their capture. These people continually waged war aginst the Jewish exiles while the rebuilding of the wall took place.
Because of the hostility, Nehemiah had one tenth of the population move to live in the city for their protection.
When the wall was rebuilt through much prayer and guard duty, God's covenant was renewed and security measures were taken against pagan practices. Ezra taught the Word of God and it brought the Nation to repentance and worship of The One True Living God.
For seven days they had the Jewish Festival of The Tabernacles, which was to remind them of how God led their forefathers out of the bondage of Egypt and they had a solemn service on the eight day as required by the Word of God. They became a reformed Nation of godliness and renewal as God had promised. The people experienced a great time of spiritual revival.
After the death of Nehemiah, the Jewish Nation once more started to decline as the patterns of disobedience toThe Word of God began.
Prayer is still a mighty strength for today's problems, through prayer, in The Name of The Lord Jesus Christ, we can be used to carry out God's Will when difficulties come. Instead of letting discouragement and self-pity set in, we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and with the help of The Holy Spirit, we will be able to continue and be victorious in adversities.
Revival must result in reform, as well as changed lives, and not just an expression of enthusiasm. God does not request half-hearted steps amongst us but He is delighted to be the centre of everything we do.
The stories of Ezra and Nehemiah are in the Books of the Old Testament of The Bible that bear their names and they teach how to express our desires to God and not to take matters into our own hands, but to trust God and rely on Him emotionally and mentally; to entrust justice to God and keep crystal-clear the motives of our actions.
These two Books also teach about the importance of keeping God's Word, worship, prayer, praise, thanksgiving, repentance, general and specific requests to God and giving God Almighty alone, the credit for all.
Both Ezra and Nehemiah took personal action for the responsibility of God's people and their Capital City, and overcame great opposition.
To be responsible to God means that Christian commitments are to be taken seriously as well as well as enjoying God's blessings and promises.
Graphics and documents are copyright.1979-2003 All rights reserved.
Documents may be printed for single personal use but may not be altered without written permission of the Publishers.
Managed by Stefan Kreslin,Last updated 9 April 1997