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Courage and Conviction: God’s Restoration of His People & Nation

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    Timothea Galoner
    • I am glad these books were coupled in our study.  I fell in love with both of these men of courage and their love of God.  Ezra was such a man of the Word that he established the “Great Synagogue,” a group of Jewish scholars who recognized the canon of Scripture and established it as the “Word of God.”  His leadership brought the people back to the heart of God and reestablished God’s Word, God’s Temple, and God’s teachings and applications of His Word in their everyday lives.  The seed of courage in Ezra stemmed from his decision to never compromise.  From that seed grew a great tree that shaded, housed and fed the people so they confessed and bowed to the God of their heritage and experienced prosperity once again.
    • Nehemiah was courageous and somewhat of a character as well.  Imagine this: Every time the King ate . . . three meals a day?  Snacks? A hydration break?  With every bite, every sip, Nehemiah put his life at risk.  But that was indigenous to Nehemiah’s faith established even in captivity.  His heart was so burdened once he heard about the plight of his people he again risked his life by telling the king why he wanted to return to his homeland.  The king did not simply relent, but blessed Nehemiah’s endeavors with his seal of approval. Nehemiah’s every step was impregnated with such a convicted faith that those around him listened, even when the going got tough!  He and the Israelites kept their nose to the grindstone when the effort to build the walls of the broken down city became under siege with relentless enemies.  They stood their ground, resuming the building with one hand and wielding a sword in the other.  This is such an intensely graphic picture that I could relate it to going to Pomona, meeting the needs of this broken down city and then wielding our “Swords of the Spirit” which is the spoken word of God.  Nehemiah’s zeal to establish God’s Kingdom properly was hilariously illustrated in his summarily throwing Tobiah’s furniture out of his house because he bribed himself into the inner courts of the Temple, shaming those who had married wives outside of Israel by plucking out their hair as though they were chickens, and actually chasing away a guy named Sanballat who had also married outside the faith even though he was a son of a High Priest.  This is a man of conviction who knew when to stand up for his faith and was not lukewarm about it!  Great lessons are learned from both these stories of courage and faith in God.
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