When the ruler of Persia/Babylon gave the order that the Jewish people could go back to Israel after 70 years in captivity, what should have been a mass exodus of Jews from Babylon turned out to be only a trickle of people returning home.
They had gotten pretty comfortable in that far-away place, and, well, not very many really cared that much about making the long, dangerous trip home. For most of the Jews living in Babylon, the home of their enemies had become their home, and they stayed.
Ezra is the story of those who returned.
We’ll see some painfully clear parallels to our own lives in this part of Jewish history. We’ll see ourselves loving our lives and comfortable in our own “Babylon”. I hope we’ll hear the call to leave our “Babylon”, and we’ll wonder what it actually means for us to “leave Babylon”. We’ll also wonder if the sacrifices of leaving Babylon are worth it.
But I think we’ll see that the message from the Lord is clear:
“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” – Revelation 18:4
This study of the book of Ezra in the Old testament is one I taught in 2004 at Southside Bible Church in Greenwood, Indiana.
There are Discussion Questions for each chapter in Ezra – for your personal use, or for group discussion.
You can click on the image to the left for a pdf of the entire Bible Study, or click on any of the following links to go to a specific chapter of Era: