Mo 1/1Tu 1/2We 1/3Th 1/4Fr 1/5Sa 1/6Su 1/7
Ezra 1
Acts 1
Ezra 2
Acts 2
Ezra 3
Acts 3
Ezra 4
Acts 4
Ezra 5
Acts 5
Ezra 6
Acts 6
Ezra 7
Acts 7

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Last year we began our Bible reading with two beginnings in Genesis 1 and Matthew 1. This year we begin with two more beginnings recorded for us in Scripture:

  1. In Ezra and Nehemiah we read of the new beginning God’s people made in Jerusalem after their return from captivity in Babylon.
  2. In Acts we read of the beginning of the church of Jesus Christ that results from the Spirit-empowered preaching of the apostles.

We see the wisdom of God’s sovereignty as we read these histories in parallel. At the end of 2 Chronicles, we read about how the LORD severely disciplined the Jews by removing them from the Promised Land. Now we get to read of God’s reestablishment of His people in that same land. We learn how important this restoration was when we read Jesus’ words to the apostles in Acts 1:8:

You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

It was always God’s plan that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would go forth starting from Jerusalem (see Luke 24:47). However, had we been Jews in captivity in Babylon, we couldn’t have possibly imagined how God would orchestrate the events of world history over the following 600 years to pave the way for the coming Messiah. But God knew exactly how He was going to accomplish His will.

Haggai and Zechariah (prophets), Jeshua and Ezra (priests), and Zerubbabel and Nehemiah (civil rulers) all act as types of the true Prophet, Priest, and King who was to come. They lead the people in preparing the way of the Lord through repentance. In doing so, they set a godly example for their descendants who would eventually hear the call, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). God’s desire that His people repent could not be more clear throughout the book of Acts: “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:26).

To get a handle on the events of Ezra and Nehemiah as we read them over the next few weeks, check out this timeline.

VERSE TO MEDITATE ON

Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
—Acts 3:19

HOW TO PRAY

  • Adoration – As we begin a new year, praise God that a thousand years in His sight are like yesterday when it passes by. (Psalm 90:4)
  • Confession – Confess sins you have been reluctant to repent of.
  • Thanksgiving – “They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, ‘For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.'” (Ezra 3:11)
  • Supplication – Pray for God’s hand of blessing on your plans for the New Year.

Click HERE to ask the pastors a question about anything in your Bible reading.

This post by Alex McNeilly

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

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