Disclosure: I received this complimentary product from the publisher New Growth Press for the purpose of this review.
Ezra and Nehemiah: Rebuilding What’s Ruined is a small group Bible study published by New Growth Press. It is a part of the Bible study series The Gospel-Centered Life In The Bible. This study is written by Iain M. Duguid. I received a PDF file for the purpose of this review.
I was pleased to get the opportunity to take a look at this small group study because I have enjoyed the other studies I have from this series. (Take a look at my reviews of Ecclesiastes, I John, Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, and Mark.) Ezra and Nehemiah: Rebuilding What’s Ruined is a bit shorter than others I have read, incorporating only 10 chapters. It is a more focused theme study than previous ones that have focused more on the purpose of the book. Regardless, it is a good study that I have enjoyed reading through.
As noted, there are 10 chapters. Each chapter contains 6 elements: Big Idea, Bible Conversation, Article, Discussion, Exercise, and the Wrap-up and Prayer. Each of these elements work together to help keep the study moving and to guide the study towards seeking what God shares in His word. Each chapter is designed to take approximately 60 minutes; however, that can easily move either direction based on the size of the group and how vocal the members are about sharing thoughts, challenges, ideas, and more.
The Big Idea is a sentence or two summarizing the main idea to focus on in the lesson. Bible Conversation is a quick introduction to the Bible passage that will be read and then the reading of the Bible passage. The article is a couple of pages from the author on the idea. Discussion is some focused questions about the passage and/or applications to personal lives to have the group consider and talk through. The exercise is a practical application to your own life of the idea and how to change yourself. Wrap-up and prayer is time of closing out the class and praying over the application and time with God.
The chapters in Ezra and Nehemiah: Rebuilding What’s Ruined include:
- The Lord’s Work
- Facing Opposition
- Devotion to God
- Lament Over Sin
- Battling Discouragement
- The Joy of The Lord
- True Repentance
- Lasting Reformation
The study includes an introduction to the book as well as the study set up. There is also a timeline that is helpful to understand the history of Israel’s decline, their captivity, and their restoration. At the end you will find a set of leader’s notes to help the leader guide the study. There are helpful notes on the idea for each chapter that expand upon and give additional context. (The Leader’s Notes did have a section on chapter 5 where I am actively studying the Bible to see if the information is correct. The author noted in the next to last bullet point on page 115 “that Paul still says it is completely wrong for a believer to go ahead and marry an unbeliever.” I am researching because I have not ever understood this is what is being said in the passage quoted in the book.)
The study does not cover every chapter. There are several that are skipped for whatever reason. It is recommended at the end of each chapter that you read any skipped portions prior to the next Bible study session.
One of my favorite things about this study series is that the focus is first on the Bible and what God says. This is a bit less focused than I have seen in some of the other titles in the series but it is still a focus on the Bible. I appreciate that the exercises are applications and can really change one who is looking for God’s work in his life.
I have not completed the entire book but have not found it to be way off base biblically, though I did note in the previous paragraph about one concern I have found. I have enjoyed what I have read and studied and look forward to continuing on. I am considering purchasing more books to do this as a study with my girls, as we are studying the books of Ezra and Nehemiah for their Bible Bowl this year with Lads to Leaders. I have no qualms recommending this book, but as with all materials that are written by man, know the book of God, have it open next to you, and consult it to see if what you are being told is right and in accordance with the word of God.
If this type of Bible study is appealing to you, please visit New Growth Press to learn more and order a study.
Lori, At Home.
it can be hard to find a good bible study so it’s nice when people review them and let you know more.