DOWN THE DRAIN; INTO THE LIGHT

While Judah and Israel are in captivity they are also comforted at times by word from God through his prophets.  They will record these and add some of the greatest messages in the time of greatest trials.  First up t bat is Ezra by biblical presentation, but this is actually near the end of Judah’s captivity.  Exra records a prophetic promise of a previous prophet.  Log before this god had revealed how and by whom Judah would be released from captivity.  Even the name of their helper was foretold long ago by Jerimiah.

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,  Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.  Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.  And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.  Ezra 1:1-4

It is possible that Cyrus knew of this because he may have descended from Queen Esther.  His mother may have named him Cyrus to fulfill the prophesy.  In any case, he knew he was called by God and did his job.

Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.  And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.  Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;  Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.  And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,  Thirty basins of gold, silver basins of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.  All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.Ezra 1:5-11

After all the dark times of the kings and the Chronicles, this is the day of joy that had long awaited.  Temple furnishings were returned from the temples of idolatry and sent back to Jerusalem.  The people were released to go rebuild the temple and Jerusalem.  Cyrus provided the materials and funding and sent the people home. 

Let’s go on to learn about the fall and restoration through the eyes of the prophets who saw and wrote of these dark times.  Don’t be surprised to find a lot of light being offered in spite of the pain of these judgments.

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