Yes, we’re going to begin a systematic journey through the Book of Ezra. At least chapter by chapter, and in each chapter we shall be concentrating on a paragraph of verses.
But why have I called this Portion of Scripture “little studied?”
I think that is generally true of the Old Testament when compared to the New Testament. The vast amount of preaching these days (at least in America) is from the 27 Books of the New Testament. (Yet the Old Testament is equally inspired!)
Then even in the Old Testament I sense that the Books of History receive the least attention. The “narrative” Books, Genesis and Numbers and Joshua and Judges and Ruth, etc. always have been (and probably always will be) more easily studied. “Everybody loves a story,” they say. And long ago (sadly) narrative preaching upended doctrinal preaching! (And Ezra does contain some doctrine, although its particular emphasis is quite silent now as well.) Plus, the poetic Psalms and Proverbs get more attention than anything in history, ancient history, as it relates to the Word of God. The Prophets too (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Hosea, etc.) remain at least somewhat studied these days. But again, NOT the Books of History! (How long has it been since you heard a series of Sermons from 2nd Chronicles? Ever? Yes, 2nd Chronicles which ends the same way that Ezra begins!)
And certainly Ezra is (while loosely telling a little-known story) primarily historical in nature.
You will see what I mean as the days progress, Lord willing.
It is often thought (probably correctly) that Ezra-Nehemiah make a Unit of Scripture. Same time frame, same locations, closely knit heroes! But even between the two … Ezra is the loser when it comes to popularity, frequency of study, analysis!
So, tomorrow morning we shall being with an introductory Lesson, then chapter by chapter.
Ezra … I am already excited!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell