Raise your hand if you’ve ever looked around and wondered how things got so messed up in the world, in your community, and maybe even in your own life? How did we get here, and more importantly, are we stuck in the mess we’ve made? For the Israelites living through the exile, the answer to “how did we get here” was pretty much the same as it is for the rest of us – sin. Our choices to do things our way and not God’s way have led to pain, frustration, and that overwhelming sense that nothing can be right again.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah point us to the hope we have on the other side of sin. God has a plan, and His plan is Jesus. Ezra and Nehemiah didn’t know the name, but they knew the hope. As we study these two books, we’ll see how God used three national leaders in this painful time of Israel’s history to point His people to the hope they so desperately needed.