Ezra and Nehemiah
Ezra the scribe had returned to Jerusalem with a valuable cargo of precious vessels to restore the temple worship. But he was greatly dismayed by the moral and spiritual state of the people. It would seem that they had fallen back into many of the harmful practices that had led to their captivity in the first place. Eventually, as a result of dealing with dangers without, and betrayal within the community, Ezra knew he would need help. He understood the importance of rebuilding the walls, both literally and metaphorically. They were needed to protect a pure relationship with God and defend against corrupting outside influences.
Paul, in his writings, alluded to this episode in biblical history. He likened believers to vessels in God’s temple and highlighted the importance of being pure and prepared to do God’s service. Learn more about Ezra’s struggle to contend with self-serving political leaders and to restore the paths of God and the moral integrity of the people. Consider the example of Nehemiah who came to Ezra’s aid in this monumental task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, while rebuilding the spiritual community of believers. There are many lessons from the lives of Ezra and Nehemiah to aid us in our challenge to maintain faith in the face of opposition.
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