Week 39: June 7-12
2 Chronicles 34-Ezra 8
GodSpeak readings for each day are listed below. Click the link to read the section and/or listen online. A discussion question is listed below for you to use in your GodSpeak group session or for discussion with others who are reading along.
Monday, June 7 2 Chronicles 34-35 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
1. Review 2 Chronicles 35.One recurring sign that Israel was falling away from the Lord was that they neglected the celebrations of the Old Testament festivals, such as Passover. That is why the renewals of the Passover celebration under Hezekiah and Josiah were so significant. Why are celebrations so vital in the lives of God’s people? What particular features of your church’s celebrations help you recall God’s promises and the message of salvation through Jesus our Savior?
Tuesday, June 8 2 Chronicles 36 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
2. Viewing the Babylonian exile from a time after the exile, the writer of Chronicles sees the exile as a time of Sabbath rest (2 Chronicles 36:21) for the land and the people. What were the benefits of Sabbath rest (Leviticus 25:1–7; 26:2; Hebrews 4:9)? How might you observe the Sabbath so it is a time of refreshment?
Wednesday, June 9 Ezra 1-2 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
3. Ezra reports that Cyrus, king of Persia, thought that he had been appointed by the Lord, the God of heaven, to build a temple for God at Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2). Here is an example of an unbelieving ruler being used by God to fulfill His Messianic purposes. Does God still use civil authorities to accomplish His purposes? Can you cite some examples?
Thursday, June 10 Ezra 3-4 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
4. Review Ezra 3:1–13. Another picture of the Lord building His church is in 1 Peter 2:4–12. Who is the “living Stone” (2:4) and the “living stones” (2:5)? How do believers become “living stones” (1 Corinthians 15:45)? According to Peter, what are some things “living stones” do? In your prayers ask the Spirit for the strength to do this.
Friday, June 11 Ezra 5-6 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
5. According to the decree issued by King Cyrus regarding the temple of God in Jerusalem, provisions were supplied so that the priest could “offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons” (Ezra 6:10). Relate the practice of prayers for government leaders in Old Testament times to that which is still practiced by God’s people today (see 1 Timothy 2:1– 2).
Saturday, June 12 Ezra 7-8 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
6. Ezra describes the hand of the LORD blessing the people along their way, providing protection from enemies and bandits (Ezra 8:31). What blessing did the Ezra, the leader, receive as the hand of the LORD was upon him (see Ezra 7:28)? See also Joshua 1:9.
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