Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Short book about the prolonged rebuilding of God's temple.

It's always uphill work reading all the recorded stats in the Bible, but it does endorse the thing with a sense of authenticity. Just like when it suddenly dips into the first person for a while, which I personally find quite refereshing and real:

I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, "The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him." So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. – Ezra 8:22-23 NIV

And, in fear of big punishment from God, how can you not relate to a line like:

...all the people were sitting in the square before the house of God, greatly distressed by the occasion and because of the rain. – Ezra 10:9b NIV

The rather galling end of the book – in which the people repent of intermarrying with other races and actually send all their wives and children away – surely demonstrates either:

a) just how strong their loyalty to God now was, or

b) just how disastrous their understanding of God had now become.

Or maybe both.


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