Talks for Growing Christians
The Jews Who Returned with Ezra to Jerusalem
Lesson Number 8
- A godly leader prays about everything.
- A godly leader uses common sense.
- Remember, worship comes before service.
- Name the three phases going into the captivity.
- Name the three phases coming out of the captivity.
- Going in:
Phase 1 – In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar entered Judah and took Daniel and others as captives to Babylon.
Phase 2 – In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar again entered Judah and captured Jerusalem and took Ezekiel and others, including the king as captives to Babylon.
Phase 3 – In 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar completely conquered the kingdom of Judah and destroyed the beautiful temple that Solomon had built.
- Coming out:
Phase 1 – In 538 B.C., about 50,000 Jews returned under the leadership of Zerubbabel as a result of the edict of Cyrus the Persian. Under phase 1, the temple was finally rebuilt in 516 B.C.
Phase 2 – In 458 B.C., Ezra returned with about 2,000 Jews.
Phase 3 – In 445 B.C., Nehemiah returned and motivated the people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, walls that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
- Ezra was a godly leader. He not only had natural leadership abilities, but he had God-given spiritual ability to lead the people, as well. Ezra Chapters 7-10 are great chapters to study in reference to “Spiritual Leadership.” What is the foundation necessary for being a godly leader? We learn from Ezra, “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the lord, and to do it, and to teach it.” (Ezra 7:10) Ezra was committed to the Lord and to His word and His work. Notice, also, how Ezra proclaimed a time of prayer and fasting before they started on their four-month journey. See Ezra 8:21. A godly leader prays about
- Read Ezra 8:24-34. Ezra sought out people and gave them responsibility, and there was accountability.
The men took their responsibility seriously. Notice that Ezra as a godly leader did not handle the money himself, thus avoiding the possibility of temptation and for appearance sake. A godly leader uses common sense.
- Read Ezra 8:35-36. When the exiles with Ezra arrived in Jerusalem, they worshiped the Lord with sacrifices. This is the divine order – worship before service. When you truly worship the Lord, it is bound to result in some kind of service. Are you too busy serving to worship?
- “The good hand of our God was upon us…we were brought a man of understanding.” Ezra 8:18
- “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him…” Ezra 8:22
- “So we fasted and entreated our God…and He answered our prayer.” Ezra 8:23
- “The hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us…” Ezra 8:31