Want to learn more about Ezra and Nehemiah? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Imagine being a citizen of Jerusalem when Babylon
captures your city and destroys the temple constructed by King David
and King Solomon. Could there be anything worse? Yes, actually. What
is worse is that in Jeremiah 25:11 God tells His people that the
“whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations
will serve the King of Babylon seventy years.” Guess where you will
die? In captivity in a foreign land. What lessons can we learn from
this difficult time? Let’s explore the Bible and see what we can
Are you facing a challenge? Is there something in your
life that needs to be changed or fixed? Our study today recounts
Nehemiah receiving bad news, turning to God for help, and then
intelligently working with God every step of the way to fix the
problem. Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and learn practical
lessons for every day living!
Has God called you? Has He called you to a particular
task? I think He has. How can we know if we are called? How can we
know if we missed our call? Is there another call if we missed
earlier calls? I believe that God calls each one of us to serve Him
in some special way. Our study this week is about the calling of God.
Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!
If you read books you know that some authors do not
tell the story using one continuous time line. They like to jump
around. Frankly, I prefer the simple over the complex, so I prefer
one continuous time line. Our study this week covers Ezra 3-6, among
other texts, but Ezra is one of those writers who prefers the
complex. He does not tell his story in chronological order, but
rather by topic. More confusing is that some of the events we have
studied in the last few weeks are in the future of our story, and
some we are studying today we have already considered. Let’s see what
we can learn about facing opposition without getting confused about
What causes poverty? In my country some say it is
because the poor made bad choices. If you finish high school, get a
job, and don’t have children until you are married, your chances of
being poor are very slim. Others say poverty is the fault of society.
It comes from discrimination on the basis of race or gender. It comes
from economic dislocation. World-wide, I think poverty is mainly
caused by government policy. Many are poor because of the impact of
war. Many are poor because the government refuses to allow economic
freedom. Sometimes poverty exists because of weather problems. What
does the Bible say? Our study this week deals with complaints about
poverty. Let’s dive into the Bible during Nehemiah’s time and see
what we can learn about poverty!
How do you feel when you have rented or purchased a new
home and you are all moved in? Exhausted? Happy? That is the mind set
for our study this week. God’s people have finished building the wall
and have moved into Jerusalem. They are back in their homeland and
their repaired city. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and
find out what happens next!
What does it mean to “repent?” What does it mean
to “confess sin?” I thought I knew. But in the last few years
I’ve begun to rethink those terms based on my study of the
Bible. Let’s plunge into our study of Nehemiah and see what we
can learn. Perhaps you will adjust your understanding of those
One of the positive things about being an
American lawyer and a student of the Bible is that many of our
legal concepts reflect Biblical ideas. A covenant, which is
our subject in this lesson, is like a contract. A contract is
voluntary, is intended to benefit both parties, and is
enforceable. Contracts are not supposed to depend on how you
feel on one particular day, and should not be broken just
because you no longer see the benefit. Let’s dive into our
study of the Bible and explore the topic of God’s covenant
with His people!
A famous preacher mentioned in a sermon that God helps
him find good parking spaces. As I listened my reaction was to agree.
God does small kindnesses for me. I pray for small kindnesses for
others – like finding their car keys. Some strongly criticize this
idea. Why would God trouble Himself with your parking spot when
people are dying of cancer? There is a false assumption in this
criticism. It assumes that God has limited resources and finding your
keys means someone else will suffer loss. I believe in an unlimited
God! Our lesson this week is about God’s attention to small details.
Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and learn more!
Worship styles! Want to start a fight? Just take a firm
position on that issue. Some churches resolve the matter by using
different worship styles at different services. Have a preference?
Attend the service that reflects your views. In my old church, we
had different types of music on different Sabbaths. That solution
made people happy some of the time. My current church began with firm
beliefs specifically about the style of worship because the founders
believed it was critical to reaching nonbelievers. Their views on
music are my views, so it has been an easy choice for me. The real
issue is not my preference or yours, but rather what does the Bible
teach us about music and worship? Let’s plunge into our study and
There is some bad advice that seems rampant today. If
your heart tells you to do something, then you should do it. Even for
those desiring to follow God, the line we should follow in life is
sometimes a little hard to see. After all, Jesus told us in Mark
12:31 to love your neighbor yourself. That may seem to put love
first. But true love involves obedience to God’s law. Let’s explore
that issue as we dive into our Bible and learn more!
Our lesson this week is about a very specific issue –
marrying those who do not share our faith. My wife told me that when
she was young she prayed that God would lead her to the right man to
marry. When I was dating I recall being very concerned about faith. I
was not simply looking for someone who was a member of my church, I
was looking for someone who shared my level of devotion. For example,
for a while I was dating a friend who was active in the church
program on Sabbath, and then she would spend her time after church
visiting the elderly in nursing homes or something similar. That was
too much for me! On the other hand, I did not want to date someone
who didn’t care about God’s will. When I met my wife, she had the
right mix of devotion and Sabbath rest. We are still married 45 years
later. Let’s explore what the Bible teaches us about this!
One of the most unrecognized powers you possess is that
of influence. When we think about influential leaders, some may
assume that only certain powerful people have the ability to
influence others. My belief is that we all exert some sort of
influence over each other. Is there some practice in your life that
you can trace to something that someone else said or did? It might
only be that one thing, but you carry it with you. As we end our
study of Ezra and Nehemiah, let’s explore what the Bible has to teach
us about influencing others!