Monday, June 3, 2024

June 3, 2024

I've decided to skip Chronicles except for the last few verses, as the books of First and Second Kings cover most of what is included in those books. My inclination was to jump right in and start reading Daniel to give some insight into what happened to Judah while they were in Babylon, but I decided to finish the history portion of the Bible so I could refer back to it when I began to cover the prophets. 

Now that the people of Judah were captive in Babylon, it had been empty for seventy years, as Jeremiah prophesied.

To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years. 2 Chronicles 36:21

Here's a powerful reminder for us all: rest is essential. God will make us rest if we don't rest on our own. I don't want to know what that looks like!

Forgive me if this is too long; I'm trying to fit the pieces together in my mind. The king of Persia defeated the king of Babylon and took over the kingdom, including Judah's captives. Cyrus was a part of God's plan to release His people from captivity. One interesting note is that Nebuchadnezzar hadn't melted down all the temple vessels taken from Judah; they were left in the same condition they were found and were still useful for the temple services. Esther was a part of this captivity and was a stepping stone for such a time as this and the useful vessel to help procure the eventual release of Judah back to Jerusalem. Esther's story fits into the timeline of the book of Ezra. Cyrus called together the people of Judah to go and rebuild the temple of God; even though he didn't know God, he was compelled by the Holy Spirit to help. 

Even though the enemy may hold us captive in our minds, God will eventually procure our release through our belief in Jesus, and we will be as good as new when he begins using us as temple vessels for kingdom purposes. 

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 1:11

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