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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Ezra 8:21-23

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"BRAGGING ON GOD"
Intro: 78 years after first contingency of Jewish captives returned from Babylon to start rebuilding the temple. Ezra is given permission by Artaxerxes King of Persia, to return to Jerusalem. About 1500 adult males volunteered to return with him and he was given approx. $5,000,000 for the temple.
I. THE PERILS OF THE WAY.
A. The trip was long & hard.
1. Nearly 1200 miles.
2. Months journey.
3. No super highways just trails for the most part.
4. No hotel facilities make camp each night; average 10 1/2 miles per day.
5. Imagine provisions necessary.
B. Going through hostile territory.
1. Armed bands of thieves lived off of travelers.
2. The wives & small children made flight from an enemy impossible.
3. The enormous treasures made them susceptible to marauders.
The reasonable thing is to take a detachment of soldiers but this is impossible because...
II. EZRA HAD BEEN BRAGGING ON GOD.
A. He had studied law of Moses "ready scribe in..."
B. Recounted to king the power of their God.
1. Delivered out of Egypt.
2. Red Sea parted.
3. Water out of Rock.
C. To ask for a squad of soldiers inconsistent.
D. His bragging put him in a spot.
1. This could be fatal if you were bragging about what you could do.
2. But to be put in this kind of spot by bragging about what God can do gives God opportunity.
E. "Confession of faith." What is it?
1. My stating what I believe God is going to do.
a. It may regard my salvation.
b. It may regard my healing.
c. It may concern my Christian growth.
d. It may regard finances.
f. "I am crucified with Christ."
g. Watchman Nee.
F. Confession must be according to the Word.
a. What God has done.
b. What He has promised to do.
G. Confession should be consistent.
a. Minister rapping against going to Doctor.
b. Infidel uncle "why is he wearing glasses."
III. EZRA'S ACTIONS.
A. Because of bragging, asking for soldiers' protection out.
B. Ezra fasted & prayed for guidance.
C. "And on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem according to the good hand of his God upon him." Here disasters, later turned out to be necessary to bring me where I am today.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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