21 New Walls but Not new Hearts
Ezra 7, Hen 1-2, 4, 6-8, Mal 1-4
I. The Closing of the OT
II. 3 Building Projects
a. Rebuilding Temple Worship
i. Jewish OT Final Verse (2Chr 36:23)
ii. Who was Ezra?
1. Ezra is a descendant of Aaron the High Priest, Moses’ bro-in-law (Ezra 7:1-5)
2. A Scribe (Ezra 7:6)
3. Skilled in the Law of Moses (Ezra 7:6, 10, Dt 6:5, 1Jn 5:2-3)
a. Are our hearts set to study God’s Word?
b. Are our wills set to do what we learn?
c. Are we eager to teach others?
4. Trustworthy (Ezra 7:15, 17-18, 25)
5. Hand of the Lord his God was on him (Ezra 7:6)
iii. Ezra restores Temple Worship (Neh 8:5-8)
b. Rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem
i. Nehemiah is a Jew, living in Susa, serving as the cupbearer to the King. (Neh 1:11d)
ii. Like Ezra, he had a heart for God and for His people. (Neh 1:4-5ff)
iii. But it was an intense 52 days (Neh 6:15)
iv. So why is this so important?
1. A way for God to rebuild trust in his preserving character.
2. Preserving the worship reforms that had begun (Neh 13:15-19)
c. Rebuilding the People’s Hearts
i. The people are partially worshipping God but their entire hearts aren’t into it yet:
1. They bring lame sacrifices (Mal 1)
2. The priests aren’t guarding the true knowledge of God (Mal 2)
3. The state of marriage is in disarray as divorces and affairs are rampant (Mal 2)
4. The people are failing to bring their offerings to the Lord’s House (Mal 3)
5. They have misunderstood worshipping God for getting something in return (Mal 3:14)
ii. How to rebuild the human heart so that it will worship God in spirit and truth and with Joyful exuberance. (Mal 4:5-6, Jer 31:31-34)