Happy New Year! I realize that I am rather late in sending these
greetings which is sad because my encouraging words have to do with
Bible study a thing we need to do every day. I don’t know if you have a
regular time each day to read the Bible, but you really need to. There
is nothing more important than reading the Bible because it is the very
word of God. He had men write down His words over hundreds of years so
we could understand God better.
Do you have a plan for your Bible reading? Some people try to read the
Bible in a year or they may take 2 years. I suggested some time ago to
read the Bible by dividing it into 5 parts and to read a chapter from
each part each day. You may want to choose a book and read it slowly
and read it more than once to help you to understand it better.
Whatever plan you follow, do try to follow a plan then your reading will
be more purposeful.
Some of you have said that you study the Scripture passages that I
mention. So today I will give some study helps for three more books of
the Bible. A few months ago I wrote about studying the books of history
from I Samuel to II Chronicles. Today I’ll write about the last three
books of history – Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.
These three books happened many years after the other books of history,
near the end of the time of captivity for the children of Israel.
Chronologically Ezra 1-6 is first, then Esther, then the rest of Ezra
and finally Nehemiah.
The scribe Ezra must have read about the earlier work on the temple in
Jerusalem and carefully recorded what happened and what documents were
used. When he arrived in Jerusalem himself, he helped to finish the
temple and to reinstate the roles of the priests. He also dealt with
the sin of the people that was revealed after the Law of God was read.
The book of Ezra gives a picture of a godly, patient man and of the need
to obey God in all things.
Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra’s. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to
help rebuild the city wall. He was concerned about the people’s safety
and the preservation of God’s things. He was a very good leader and one
we can learn a lot from.
Esther is an interesting book. The name of God is not mentioned any
where in the book, but God’s hand working is clearly visible. Esther is
a book that can help you to increase your faith in God, especially in
difficult times. The way God used Esther is not exactly the same way He
will use each of us, but He wants to use each of us in great ways. He
can only do that if we dedicate ourselves to Him and allow Him to guide
Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther – three small books that can help us to
understand God better and books that can encourage us to serve Him
faithfully even in difficult times.
Love, Sister Sharlene
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Having so fond an affection for you, [I am] well-pleased to impart to
you not only the gospel of God but also [my] own [life], because you
[have] become very dear to [me].
NASB personalized by Sharlene