Episode 1: Who Was Ezra?+ Tips for Bible Reading Plans.
JANUARY 1 readings in Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan: Today’s Scriptures are Genesis 1, Ezra 1, Matthew 1 and Acts 1. Here is how the show is going to go, at least at first. Each day, we will start out reading a chapter from one of the day’s selections. Then we will ask and answer a question about that passage, and throw in some biblical encouragement also. After that – you can be done with the episode…but for those who want to LISTEN to the entire selection for the day, the other three chapters will be read after the first one. There is no practical spiritual difference between hearing the Word of God and reading the Word of God. Both are equally profitable, so it is not at all ‘cheating’ to listen to the Word rather than read it – provided your mind doesn’t wander. Consider Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Nehemiah 8:1-6 “When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people gathered together at the square in front of the Water Gate. They asked the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses that the Lord had given Israel. 2 On the first day of the seventh month, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding. 3 While he was facing the square in front of the Water Gate, he read out of it from daybreak until noon before the men, the women, and those who could understand. All the people listened attentively to the book of the law….vs 6 6 Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and with their hands uplifted all the people said, “Amen, Amen!” Then they knelt low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”
“BABYLON had overthrown Judah, and now in its turn it was vanquished by Cyrus: this was greatly for the good of the Jews, for the Persian king became their friend and patron, according to ancient prophecies. Thus the Lord’s purposes were fulfilled. When his time is come, all things work together to accomplish his designs…These vessels were the lawful spoil of Cyrus when he captured the city of Babylon and its temples: a generous spirit prompted him to restore them to their ancient use. God knows how to provide for his own temple; Cyrus restored the vessels, but the Lord’s hand was in the matter.” Source: C. H. Spurgeon, The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1964), 456.