Wednesday, August 14, 2013



Ezra 1–6

     In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia …” Ezra 1:1a NIV
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     When the prophesied seventy years of Israel’s captivity had past, God moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to send the people back to their land. Under the leadership of Zerubbabel, "They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia". (Ezra 6:14)
     God had caused the Medes and the Persians to take over the Babylonian kingdom just in time to fulfill His Word. He used worldly powers to bring judgment on His people, and now He used them to bring restoration and blessing.
     The road to restoration was not easy; the people had to work hard to rebuild the destroyed temple–and later the city walls. They would face discouragement and harassment from their neighbors; but in spite of this, the work went on and they were restored to the land.
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     Thank you, Lord, that Your discipline is not forever, and its purpose is for our good–for You have said, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves,” (Hebrews 12:5–6 NIV)
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     "For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalms 30:5 NIV

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