Featured Passage: Ezra 1-7
The people of Judah had been in captivity for nearly 50 years. Some had longed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of God and worship there once again, but they were not allowed until a man named Cyrus, King of Persia came to power. This Cyrus wrote a decree that told the people of Judah they could return to Jerusalem to rebuild God’s house – the temple. The returning captives followed a man named Zerubbabel who led them back to their homeland. The people were excited to return and get started on their rebuilding projects, but they didn’t know they were about to face some very challenging obstacles. Their faith was about to be tested, but through it all one man wasn’t about to give up on what they had set out to accomplish.
- Why did Cyrus, the king of Persia, decide to make his proclamation? What does this teach us about how God works with people and leaders in the world?
- What was one of the first things Zerubbabel did when they arrived in Jerusalem? What does this show us about his priorities? What can we learn from his example?
- What was the first big obstacle the people faced when they began working on the temple?
- After the work on the temple discontinued for a while, how did it start back up again?
- Who gave the people the official decree that they could finish their work on the temple? What did the people do when the temple was finally finished?
Who is among you of all His people? May 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 God), which is in Jerusalem.