Hearty thanks to Kathleen Nielson for interviewing me on Ezra–Nehemiah for the TGC blog in the run-up to the National Women’s Conference on Nehemiah. Here’s a bit from one of my responses, reflecting on the way that their concern for the nation’s purity ensured the birth of Jesus:
In the mystery of God’s providence, we have the efforts of Ezra and Nehemiah to thank for our Savior’s birth, life, death, and resurrection. God saved us through Jesus, and we see God’s sovereignty in tension with human responsibility as we consider how Ezra and Nehemiah worked to ensure that there would be a Joseph and a Mary so there could be a Jesus. They didn’t know that would be his name, but it was concern for him, hope for him, that drew Ezra and Nehemiah back to the Scriptures, kept them on their knees, compelled them to call the people to repent, and caused them to seek the rebuilding of people and wall.