Ezra 4-7

Summary

Ezra chapter 4, The adversaries, being not accepted in the building of the temple with the Jews, endeavour to hinder it. Their letter to Artaxerxes. The answer and decree of Artaxerxes. The building is hindered.

Ezra chapter 5, Zerubbabel and Jeshua, incited by Haggai and Zechariah, set forward the building of the temple. Tatnai and Shethar-boznai are not able to hinder the Jews. Their letter to Darius against the Jews.

Ezra chapter 6, Darius, finding the decree of Cyrus, makes a new decree for the advancement of the building. By the help of Tatnai and Shethar-boznai, according to the decree, the temple is finished. The feast of the dedication is kept; and the passover.

Ezra chapter 7, Ezra goes up to Jerusalem. The gracious commission of Artaxerxes to Ezra. Ezra blesses God for this favour.

Insights and Prayers

If you’re doing anything for God, expect opposition. On the other hand, if you’re serving God and you don’t have any opposition, either your work is not significant, or you haven’t given the enemy time to mount opposition.

  • Lord, I don’t want opposition, and I don’t like to make people angry, but I will be true to You no matter what problems arise, or what opposition I face. Amen.

We are not to compromise with other religions or cults. We can’t worship idols and God at the same time.

  • Lord, I will not compromise my belief in You, nor my worship of You. I believe Jesus is the only way to heaven, and He is the only true God. All other religions are false. Amen.
  • Lord, I don’t want opposition, but I expect it. Lord, I will prepare for it. I will be strong, pray, and “put on the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:11). Amen.
  • Lord, help me to use the law to protect Your work. Help me to live by the laws of the land, but also help me not to be intimidated by those who oppose me and threaten me with their interpretation of the law. Amen.
  • Lord, I will do research to find out how things were done in the past. I will serve You the way it was done in the past. Also I will worship You the way You want to be worshiped. I’ll worship You the way it was done in the past. Amen.

We should worship and praise God when things go our way. We should recognize that our victories come because God works behind the scenes to make us successful.

  • Lord, I thank You for every victory in my life. Forgive me for taking all the credit for past victories. I praise You for all the good things I enjoy. Amen.

The New King James rendering of Ezra 7:10 says, “Ezra prepared his heart.” The Living Bible says, “Ezra had worked hard to know and obey the teachings of the Lord.”

  • Study is hard work. Lord, make me discipline myself to do what is tedious, that is, to study hard and study long to know all about You. Change my attitude so I enjoy studying, then quicken my mind to learn more when I study than if I had not prayed.
  • Lord, I love You and I want to learn as much about You as possible. Amen.

Two forces were at work here; first, Ezra studied and second, God gave him wisdom. Can we conclude that the more we study, the more wisdom God gives?

  • Lord, give me wisdom so I can live properly for You. Also make me smart so I can do more for You. Amen.

Ezra responded to God the way we should respond to Him.

  • Lord, I thank You for all I am, and for all I have. You have shown me Your great love. Thank You for helping me do all I do for You. Amen.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible