In the book of Ezra, we find a message here of God’s faithfulness with the covenant community. These are elements that make the book impossible to dismiss, even when we find ourselves struggling with its blunt injustices.
Ezra can still be used to find comfort in God’s faithfulness and presence as we today struggle with our own problems and strive to survive in the midst of confusion, uneasiness and uncertainty.
In our present world there are many communities and even countries trying to rebuild their lives in the shadow of postcolonialism, identity loss, migrations and exile. Ezra is relevant to these pertinent issues of our time, not as a pattern to be duplicated, but a source of discussion to help us rebuild broken communities. We have become a divisive nation with different views on immigration, women, people of color and much more. The issues raised in the writings of Ezra provide a focusing lens through which discussion aimed at tearing down divisive walls and rebuilding broken communities can begin.
Ezra requires us to examine how we have treated those who are different from us in the past. It demands for us to answer how we are to live in peace with those who have different cultural, religious and social backgrounds and often speak a language we cannot understand. These are difficult questions which are pertinent today.
In the book of Ezra, in the midst of all these difficulties, we see a people struggling with their faith and their desire to follow God. They may not always get it right and do stumble and fall. But in their efforts to follow God against great odds, we do find them trying to do what they think is right in the eyes of God. This gives all of us hope.
- When was a time that you experienced God’s faithfulness?
- What divisive walls need to be torn down and broken communities need to be rebuilt in our world today?