Summary: Why are you where you are right now? God has placed you there for a purpose. What is stopping you from leading the way to accomplish that purpose?
As you remember, we finished Ezra back in the first week of July. So it’s been 6 months since we spent time with our remnant. I miss them. As we’ve talked about before, Ezra and Nehemiah were originally two parts to the same book. Ezra wrote it, but he used different perspectives throughout. He wrote the first 6 chapters of Ezra in the third person, because those events happened before he got to Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit inspired him to compile most of his information in those chapters from historical records and interviews. Then chapters 7-10 were recorded in the first person. He wrote them as an eyewitness. He wrote them as an eyewitness for two reasons. First, because he was there. And second because they were the things he was directly responsible for. They told of his mission. And then we get to the second part of his book—what we know of as Nehemiah. Even though Ezra was still there as an eyewitness to most of these events, he quit writing in the first person. Instead of writing from his perspective, he began to write from Nehemiah’s perspective. Most scholars say that when Ezra wrote this, the Holy Spirit inspired him to use Nehemiah’s personal diaries. So even though Ezra wrote it, it is as if it came directly from Nehemiah’s mouth. That’s the way biblical inspiration works. When the authors wrote the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit inspired them to use all kinds of sources. Sometimes God dictated directly to them. Sometimes they wrote from their own minds and perspectives. Sometimes they used historical or governmental or secular documents that already existed. But when the Holy Spirit inspired the biblical writers to use all of those things to write God’s Word, He carried them along throughout the process. He guided them to write exactly His Word. He protected them from error and divinely breathed out His Word through the very words and parts of speech He influenced them to use. So no matter what sources Ezra used to compile Ezra and Nehemiah, his very act of putting them together was carried along by the Holy Spirit. And it resulted in the inerrant, infallible Word of God we have translated before us today. Because of that, we’re going to look at each part of this book knowing that it all has equal authority before God. Whether a well known passage we might have heard preached a hundred times… or a list of names we can’t even pronounce. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable. So we will treat it as such. And I can’t wait to get back into this wonderful book.
Just a quick review as to where we are in history. I know that some people find history boring. But it shouldn’t be that way for Christians. Because it isn’t for God. Because if history was boring to God, He wouldn’t have made so much of His Book revolve around history. Ultimately, all history is His story. It is the story of Jesus. And the only way we can have a complete picture of our Savior is to know the history He has given us—the history He was born out of and the history He was born into. So, let’s just quickly review where we are at this point in His story.