Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. In whose file are you likely to find a black mark next to your name?
- first grade teacher’s?
- high school teacher’s
- pastor or counselor’s
- IRS or collection agency?
- FBI or criminal division?
- medical records?
- court records?
2. In reference to Question #2, of these files, which contents would you like to erase for all time?
3. Which of these names have seen listed elsewhere in the book of Ezra?
4. What is significant about only one singer and three gatekeepers marrying pagan wives (verse 24)? Likewise, why do you suppose no temple servants or descendants of Solomon’s servants are guilty of this?
5. Why do you think children were insufficient reason for halting the divorce proceedings (verse 44)?
6. Why such furor over relatively few transgressors (27 clergy and 84 laity)?
7. What does the total of 111 guilty men, their ex-spouses and broken homes do for you? How would you feel seeing your name listed here? Does such sentiment tend to overshadow the principles involved?
8. This list of guilty men attests to a momentary purge and purification of Israel. Some 12 and 25 years later (see Nehemiah 10:30 and Nehemiah 13:23 – 29), Nehemiah must confront that same sin of mixed marriages. What does that say about human nature? About the tenacity of sin? About the effect of legal sanctions? About the need for continuing to renew divine-human covenants?
9. Where then would you place your hope for a purified Church today (see Matthew 13:24 – 30)?
10. In your study of Ezra, what have you learned about your own human nature? About God’s nature? About His desires for you? His discipline of you?
11. What kind of pilgrim would you have made back in Ezra’s day? How is that shown in your faith now?