Presentation on theme: "Ezra 1:1-8 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the L ORD spoken by Jeremiah, the L ORD moved the heart of Cyrus."— Presentation transcript:
Ezra 1:1-8 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the L ORD spoken by Jeremiah, the L ORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“ ‘The L ORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Anyone of his people among you—may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the L ORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.
4 And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’ ”
5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites— everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the L ORD in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
7 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the L ORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. 8 Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
Rebuilding – From the Inside Out Ezra 1-6 Ezra – priest, scribe, leader Author of 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Psalm 119 But, he will not appear until later.
Main theme: Exiled people from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and Levites, left Babylon to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Main characters: Zerubbabel (Shashbazzar) Cyrus the Great, king of Persia King Darius
Chapter 1 In the first verse, the prophecy of Jeremiah comes to pass as Cyrus the Great issues a decree giving the Jewish exiles permission return to Jerusalem. The opening passage is very clear that this action is God’s doing, not man’s!
Ezra 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the L ORD spoken by Jeremiah, the L ORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing…
Cyrus the Great, an unlikely person to help in an unlikely way. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zech. 4:6) Not only did he let them go, he gave back all of the items from the temple that had been confiscated.
5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites— everyone whose heart God had moved— prepared to go up and build the house of the L ORD in Jerusalem. The Lord also moved the hearts of the captives:
Not all the families of Judah and Benjamin chose to return. Many had accumulated property and wealth that was difficult to give up.
Changes on the inside shape our attitudes and desires. Their inner changes lead to faithful actions. Are we willing to be humble, to be open to opportunities, and move at His direction?
Chapter 2 List of returnees – by families 42,000 went to their own towns Genealogy records were important! (v. 59-63) Everyone’s cooperation was needed as offerings were taken (v. 68-69)
Chapter 3 They began to rebuild. First, the altar. This symbolized God’s presence and protection. Their worship showed their commitment to serve God alone. It is critical to have your heart in the right place.
Second, the temple foundation was laid. A celebration followed… …with different reactions. Some people rejoiced, others wept (3:11-13) We all see things from different perspectives!
Chapter 4 Opposition to the rebuilding 4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. 5 They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Letter was sent to Artaxerxes demanding that the work stop. The building came to a standstill for about 10 years. One of the short comings of Zerubbabel’s leadership was his inability to overcome discouragement and fear.
Chapter 5 While the legal debate continued, the Jews spoke up and asked for a review of the records by the new king, Darius: 17 Now if it pleases the king, let a search be made in the royal archives of Babylon to see if King Cyrus did in fact issue a decree to rebuild this house of God in Jerusalem.
Chapter 6 A favorable response came from Darius. Cyrus’ decree had been found! Work resumed and temple was completed. 20 years to build the temple: 6 – 10 – 4 It was dedicated with a celebration and then the Passover was observed.
Putting in all together: You may be surprised who God will choose to use… …who will the Lord will move, and who will respond.
Putting in all together: Rebuilding and renewal begins on the inside. Our heart is at the center of our usefulness.
Putting in all together: There will always be people who try to discourage us or intimidate us. We need to press on, staying focused on all that God has promised.
Putting in all together: Nothing is ever static. We continually have ups and downs in life. Rebuilding, renewal is a part of life… in our personal lives, our churches, our communities, and our country.