We're looking forward to a great term looking at the Old Testament books of Ezra and Haggai.
Rebuilding God's people
30-Apr | God has a plan (Ezra 1)
7-May | God's people returned (Ezra 2)
14-May | God's people build (Ezra 3-4)
21-May | God's people distracted (Haggai 1)
28-May | God's people stirred (Haggai 2)
4-Jun | God's people unhindered (Ezra 5:1-6:18)
11-Jun | God's people remember (Ezra 6:9-22)
18-Jun | God's Word returned (Ezra 7-8)
25-Jun | God's people repent (Ezra 9-10)
Growth Group Studies
Here's a great overall Summary Talk by Mark Dever (Capitol Hill Baptist).
Note: This is a helpful video to see the way Ezra and Nehemiah is one big book, and how it fits in the Old Testament context. However, the structure seems a it forced, and it's worth asking whether each section is an 'anticlimax'?
This is a helpful video on the book of Haggai, which overlaps with Ezra (see Ezra 5:1).
The Second Exodus (Goldsworthy)
Ezra; Nehemiah; Haggai
In 539 BC Babylon fell to the Medo–Persian empire. The following year, Cyrus the king allowed the Jews to return home and to set up a Jewish state within the Persian empire. Great difficulty was experienced in re–establishing the nation. There was local opposition to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. Many of the Jews did not return but stayed on in the land of their exile. In the latter part of the fourth century BC, Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire. The Jews entered a long and difficult period in which Greek culture and religion challenged their trust in God’s covenant promises. In 63 BC Pompey conquered Palestine and the Jews found themselves a province of the Roman empire.