Digging Deeper

Journal your answers to these questions as you read through the chapter this week. You may wish to read one day and journal the next, or spread the questions over the whole week. Bible readings that correspond with this week’s reading can be found at log.org/resources/ the-story
1. Ezra “devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (p. 292). How has your own devotion to the study of God’s word changed since the beginning of The Story? What have been aha moments along the way?

2. Why did Nehemiah and Zerubbabel respond differently to opposition? How are you most likely to respond when you face opposition?

3. Why would Tobiah and Sanballat have been so threatened by the return of the Jews? The Jews had nearly nothing and returned to a land left devastated. What kind of character and faith would these returning Jews need to make the journey and stand against the intimidation of those like Tobiah and Sanballat?

4. Compare the “first exodus,” Exodus 11:1-3 and 12:35-36, with this second exodus, when God brought Israel back to the promised land. How can you tell that this was clearly God’s response to Ezra’s prayer?

5. Nehemiah demonstrates that faith is a partnership with God when he prayed for God’s protection and also posted guards. What similar experiences do you have, depending on God’s work and also working yourself?

6. Years after the walls had been rebuilt, the prophet Malachi was sent to correct the priests and the people (p. 302). What were they doing that dishonored God? Why does it matter whether we honor or dishonor God?

Thank you for always calling me back to your Word for guidance and direction. Thank you that your Word is “a lamp for my feet, a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). Lord, help me to draw near to you and your Word in faithful obedience through prayer and my everyday actions. Amen.