August 1st – Ezra 3
- What were the people afraid of? What did this fear motivate them to do? What do you do when you are afraid?
- What role were the Levites given when the construction of the "house of the Lord" began? Why was this important for the Levites to do?
- What was the reaction of the people when the foundations of the temple was laid? Why was this so important to them? Why did some of the older men weep when this happened?
August 2nd – Ezra 4
- Why do you think the Israelites refused to let the people of the land help them rebuild the temple? What did the people of the land do when the Israelites refused to let them help build the temple?
- When have you ever had people seek to discourage you from doing something that God had called you to do? How did you deal with it?
- What was the motive behind the letter sent to Artaxerxes? What might be some examples of hos this type of maneuver could be used against the church in our world today?
August 3rd – Ezra 5
- What caused Zerubbabel and Jeshua to resume building the temple? What does it mean that the "eye of their God" was on the elders of the Jews?
- How does Tattenai the governor refer to the God of Israel? How do you think his belief about the God of Israel motivates his actions in this passage?
- How do the Israelites understand why they were defeated by Nebuchadnezzar? Knowing this how might this affect their motivation to rebuild the temple of their God? Why?
August 4th – Psalm 81
- What relief if the Psalmist talking about in verse 6? How did God test them at the waters of Meribah? (see Exodus 17)
- What is the passionate plea of God to his people in verses 8-10? Is there anything that would qualify as a strange God in your life? If so what?
- What does it mean that God gave them over to their stubborn hearts? What would God have done had Israel listened to Him? What does this teach us about God?
August 5th – Ezra 6
- How does the governor Tattenai's plans to get the construction of the temple stopped backfire? How does God provide for the Israelites in a dramatic way?
- Describe in your own words the significance to the Israelites of having again a temple for God where they could worship Him? How would this be different from a new church building?
- What does it mean when it says that they separated themselves from the uncleanness of the peoples of the land? Why was this so important?