The story of Ezra and Nehemiah plays out against a backdrop of ruins. There’s a ruined city, a ruined house of worship, ruined homes—ruined life with God. As is often the case in our own lives, the wreckage was largely their own fault. Their path to rebuilding, at its core, was a journey back to God. As you study Ezra and Nehemiah with Iain Duguid, you too will be encouraged to return to the God who is always faithful.
Duguid dives into lamenting sin, facing opposition, worshipping faithfully, and battling discouragement. This study will renew your joy in the Lord and encourage you to turn away from your own way and toward God, ultimately discovering Jesus is the one who rebuilds and brings new life where there is ruin and decay.
This small group guide with leader’s notes includes ten in-depth lessons that include discussion questions, a short article to read, and a practical application section that can be used for one-to-one discipleship, small group, or large group settings.
Ezra and Nehemiah: Rebuilding What’s Ruined is part of The Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible series published in partnership with Serge. Each book in the series examines how the gospel story is revealed throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
Iain M. Duguid received his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1992, his MDiv at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1989, and his BSc at the University of Edinburgh in 1981. He’s the author of Ezekiel and the Leaders of Israel, Esther and Ruth, Daniel, and Song of Songs in the Reformed Expository Commentary, and many other titles. Ezra/Nehemiah: Rebuilding What’s Ruined is his second book in the Gospel Centered Life in the Bible series. His first, Jonah: Grace for Sinners and Saints, was a finalist in the ECPA’s 2020 Christian Book Awards. Duguid is a professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Barbara, have been married for more than thirty years and have six adult children.
“This format is just what so many small groups have been looking for to study, discuss, and apply the Bible together. Dr. Duguid’s sound insights and questions on the text, combined with an interactive way to go about applying this to real life, make this no-homework-required guide to these important Old Testament books a real winner.”
Nancy Guthrie, Author; Bible teacher
“Rebuilding ruins seems like a pretty relevant topic right now. We look at our world, society, family, church, and ourselves and can see a lot of work God has done and hasn’t finished yet. More important than all of this, though, is how Iain Duguid points us to Christ, revealing the message of these transitional prophets in the light of God’s unfolding plan. Read, mark, and inwardly digest this wonderful study of God’s Word.”
Michael Horton, Professor, Westminster Seminary California
“When Jesus said that the entire Old Testament was actually about him, he even meant the story and struggles of the returning exiles in Ezra and Nehemiah. You might wonder how that could possibly be true, written as it was hundreds of years beforehand. In this illuminating but also deeply personal study, Iain Duguid will help you see the context of these books and then also place them within a communal study that you’ll embark on as you find Jesus even there. I was personally encouraged and edified by this study, and I’m sure you will be, too.”
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Author of Finding the Love of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation
“Broken people, who inhabit a world ruined by past sins and present miseries, need repentance, courage, and hope. These come only from God’s grace. That’s the story of Judah’s returning exiles, and the story of our lives. This engaging, heart-searching guide for small groups points us through Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Ezra, and Nehemiah to Jesus, who alone heals our brokenness.”
Dennis E. Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California
“Kudos to Iain Duguid for opening up a more-neglected part of the Old Testament with his usual flair for lucid, concise exposition. Duguid always has his hand on the pulse of the text and makes us feel the ‘kerplunk’ of it, and here he helps us see the reformers Ezra and Nehemiah as servants who make us long for Jesus.”
Dale Ralph Davis, Retired PCA minister; former professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS
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