ripple effect: vacaville


d118 Mixed Emotions

Read Ezra 3:7-13.

[Stuff we’re skipping:

* Josiah cleared out all the Baal, Molech, and Asherah stuff, along with all other things that would make idol-worship possible. Seriously, he did a ton. Then he reinstituted celebrating the Passover. The Israelites had not done this since the days of the judges! The Bible says that there was never a king as dedicated to following God as Josiah was. Josiah was killed in battle by Pharaoh Neco of Egypt. Then his son, Jehoahaz took his place.

* Jehoahaz only reigned for 3 months. He was wicked. Neco enslaved him and made Judah pay tribute to Egypt. Neco installed Josiah’s son, Eliakim as the new king of Judah. Jehoahaz died in Egypt. Eliakim (whose name was changed to Jehoiakim) was a puppet-king for Pharaoh and reigned for 11 years. He was also evil.

* And then Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, came an made Judah his servant for 3 years. Then Judah rebelled under king Jehoiakim, and they were raided relentlessly by their enemies. Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin took his place. Egypt stayed away from Judah from that point on because Babylon took over all of Egypt’s territories around Israel.

* Jehoiachin was the king of Judah for 3 months. He was evil too. Nebuchadnezzar raided Jerusalem, and Jehoiachin surrendered. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple’s artifacts and drug away all the goodies to Babylon. Not only that, he drug away all the people who were not the poorest to Babylon, including the king. He made Mattaniah (although he changed his name to Zedekiah), Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place.

* Zedekiah was king for 11 years in Jerusalem. He was evil, and he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. They went to war, and Nebuchadnezzar chased down Zedekiah, killed all his sons, cut his eyes, and took him to Babylon. Then the Babylonian general, Nebuzaradan burned the Temple and the palace in Jerusalem and tore down the walls around the city of Jerusalem. Then they took even the poorest back to Babylon, leaving only some farmers to keep up the land. They scrapped all the pieces of the Temple that were worth anything and took them back to Babylon. Then he executed all the priests and leaders of Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar installed Gedaliah as the governor of Jerusalem; but the people, led by a guy named Ishmael, killed him. They killed all the puppet government and fled to Egypt because they were less afraid of the Egyptians. In 2 Kings, we are left with the image of Jehoiachin being freed from prison and being allowed to have dinner with the new king, Evil-merodach in Babylon. Talk about total obliteration of the mighty nation of Israel!

* We’re skipping 1 and 2 Chronicles because they are mostly a rehash of the events we just covered.

* And then Ezra begins…

* To simplify things, let’s just say that there was a changing of the guard over the Jewish exiles…Babylon was overtaken by Persia. So, now Persia is in charge of the Jewish exiles. After 70 years of exile, God moves Cyrus, the king of Persia, to allow the exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple (not only that, he would fund it)! He even went so far as to find all the articles from the Temple that were stolen by Nebuchadnezzar and gave them back to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. Then we see a list of who went back. From what I can tell, it was about 50,000 people. They even took up a collection to fund the rebuilding of the Temple.

* Two guys, Jeshua and Zerubbabel, rebuilt the altar; and they made offerings on it day and night.]

I promise the historical stuff is close to an end; and then, after that, I’m not going to try to sum up all the stuff we don’t hit on. I just felt that there needed to be a chronological account of what was going on, otherwise it just seemed like we jumped from story to story. Thanks for hanging with me over the last few posts.

1. How crazy is it that the king of Persia decided to actually pay for the building of the Temple? You KNOW God was involved in his head. Also, for a reference to how crazy the Persians were (before you think they were a bunch of softies), um, see “300.”
2. Imagine the sense of pride that these guys got to rebuild the Temple. All those guys who were under had only heard of Jerusalem, only heard of the Temple. This had to have been an amazing experience!
3. I know we sing “His love endures forever,” but can you understand the poignancy that the older Jews must have felt, knowing that some of them (in their darker times) probably thought that God didn’t love them anymore?
4. And then the old guys weep. How could they not? Some of them probably remembered how great it once was. This was not the same.
5. This is the essence of mixced emotions because some were crying out for joy. I just imagine tears and people not even knowing why they were crying.

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Thanks for the post

Comment by Idetetrume




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