Ezra chapter 8 shares a number of similarities with Ezra chapter 2.
Ezra 2:1 … “Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city ….” Then comes quite a long list of names!
Now Ezra 8:1 … These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king ….” More names again, a lot of them!
The first group was led by Zerubbabel, a noteworthy man of God.
The second, by Ezra himself.
And honestly, I see no one famous in all of chapter 8.
Virtually unknown people, these Jews, but still listed in the Book of God, the Bible!
And why there listed?
Because of their FAITH!
Their hearts had been “stirred” by the Spirit of God … to come home to Jerusalem, to the Temple, the Altar of God … to the right Place of worship!
So God has registered them in this historical document, again Ezra chapter 8.
And all this information forms something like a “parable” in my mind … as I sit here in a motel room typing a Bible Study Lesson.
I know another group of virtual “unknowns!”
Leaving a land of captivity heading for a place of Freedom!
On a journey, from earth to Heaven!
Having begun that trip due to one motive, FAITH in the Lord God Almighty, and His Son Jesus Christ!
We too have a Leader, a greater than Ezra (whose name means “Help”). Here I speak again of our dear Saviour! “The Lord of Life!” The Crucified, Buried and Risen Again King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
And this too … our names have also been written in a Register!
“The Lamb’s Book of Life,” Revelation 21:27.
Yes, the old song is right … “We ARE marching to Zion, that Beautiful City of God!”
Is you name written there?
Are you saved?
If not, God is able to touch your heart too!
That’s why Jesus came and died on Calvary!
His, our Lord’s, Own Words … “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24, how to be “saved!”
Or Luke 10:20, with Jesus preaching once again: “But rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Tomorrow we will settle down into the history of the chapter, Ezra 8, more specifically. And it is loaded with practical applications concerning our “trip” to Jerusalem also, including “New Jerusalem” ultimately!