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Bible studies

Biblical accountability

A bible study on Ezra 8:28-34

2008 Available in English, French, Portuguese and Russian

Two women, one wearing a bright, square-patterned dress and half a mask and the other wearing an animal print dress and white scarf and half a mask, clap and converse with each other.

Peninah Kayitesi, member of the Tailoring Self-help Group in Huye, Rwanda. Photo: Pete Dawson, Tearfund Staff.

Photo: Elish Majumder / HEED

From: Accountability – Footsteps 76

How to be accountable for our actions, and also hold other people to account

Read Ezra 8:28-34

Twelve men were selected by Ezra to carry gold, silver and bronze articles to Jerusalem. The articles were weighed beforehand and accounted for at the time of delivery. They were given instructions: ‘You as well as these articles are consecrated … Guard them carefully until you weigh them out in the chambers of the house of the Lord.’ Ezra 8:28-29

Accountability is about being responsible for fulfilling one’s duties and obligations. The twelve priests were required to carry out priestly duties, which included protecting temple property. They fasted to seek God’s protection for their journey. The journey was long and they were exposed to potential attacks by bandits.

Biblical accountability begins with taking responsibility for one’s own actions and making a conscious choice of allowing God and others to help in accomplishing what is right.

Accountable to God

Asking God for protection was a sign of dependence on God and accountability to him. See also Romans 14:12 and Hebrews 4:13.

  • Identify different ways in which you show dependence upon God, especially in challenging circumstances.

Accountable to self

The twelve men were consecrated and there was no place for stealing or deception. By being accountable to their calling they stayed pure in heart. See also Psalm 139:23-24.

  • How does your daily work reflect God’s purpose for your life?

Accountable to others

Ezra’s men were accountable for protecting the valuables and each other’s lives on the journey. Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 12:12-28, Paul describes church members as members of one body, responsible for and accountable to each other.

  • What activities can you introduce in your church for members to experience greater connectedness?

Prince David is Tearfund’s Country Representative for India.

Email: [email protected]

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