The Big Bible Adventure – Ezra-Nehemiah
Powerpoint Pictures: Flags of Czechoslovakia, USSR, Yugoslavia, Ottoman Empire
Here are some flags and maps of some countries. Can you tell me the name of these countries? [Czechoslovakia; USSR; Yugoslavia; Ottoman Empire]. All these countries and empires are no more.
70 years after the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and took a number of Jews off to exile including Daniel and his three friends, the Babylonians empire was no more. The king who was ruling over Babylon was Cyrus the Persian king.
Now the fact that 70 years have passed is significant because of a promise that God made. “This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.” (Jeremiah 29:10)
Now that the 70 years are up, we’re expecting the Jews to be able to go home. But that can only happen if the king, if Cyrus says so. “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “Anyone of his people among you – may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah.” (Ezra 1:2, 3)
God worked in Cyrus’ heart and he said to the Jewish people you may go home. And so they did. But what did they find? Jerusalem was still destroyed.
So they went about rebuilding the temple and then the city walls. It was vital that Jerusalem was rebuilt because one day in this city something super important was going to happen there.
This brings us almost to the end of the Old Testament story. But it leaves us with a big question: If God kept His promise to bring the Jews home to Jerusalem after 70 years in Babylon, will He keep His promise about a serpent-crushing Saviour who will undo the mess caused by Adam and Eve, who will bring blessing to the whole world, who reign as King forever?
More talks from The Big Bible Adventure can be found HERE.