Connect the book of Ezra to your work today.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah depict what it is like for God’s people to work in unwelcoming workplaces, openly hostile to God’s values and plans. Yet along the way they receive surprising help from nonbelievers in the highest positions of civic power. God’s power seems to crop up for his people’s good in surprising places.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah use historical events to illustrate the theme of restoration, showing how God once restored his people and how people played a central role in this work of renewal. This encourages us to look at how our work may contribute to implanting God’s kingdom in today’s world.
The Book of Ezra begins with a decree from King Cyrus of Persia, allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BC. This decree introduces us to one of the principal themes of Ezra and Nehemiah: the relationship between God’s work and human work.
Ezra was willing to stake his life on the idea of God’s protection, rather than to ensure protection with human help. Nehemiah sought practical help from human authority, and God granted him success as well. Ezra and Nehemiah show us that human efforts are successful when God is at work in them.