Week 38

If you remember, the exile didn’t happen all at once. First the northern kingdom was
destroyed. Then a small number of people were taken from Judah along with their king. Then the city was destroyed completely. It has also taken the exiles years to adjust and find their place far from home.
The return home is going to work much the same way. In the rough and tumble of
empires playing king of the hill, there is a new winner. Babylon is falling and Persia is the new “toughest kid on the block.” And this new tough kid likes Israel. Through a
succession of kings, Israel is sent back home in waves to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, the Temple, and their lives. It’s been a long time coming, and it is finally here. Will Israel do things differently this time? Will they keep their covenant with God? The first wave of Israelites will arrive in Jerusalem, home from Exile. They will struggle against the
neighbors who did not want them to return home. With the backing of the King of
Persia, they have rebuilt the Temple, and began worshipping. Israel was back. It was
small and wobbly, but it was on its feet. Meanwhile…back in Persia…not all the Israelites returned home. Though soon, they would wish they had. It did not take long before the tide of popular opinion would turn against the Jews and they will once again be fighting for their lives. Due to the selfish political ambition of Haman, a plot is hatched that will
send all the Jews in Persia to their deaths. It is a true holocaust in the making. Things
have looked bleak for Israel before, but this was as bad as it has been in the last 70
years. In the middle of the controversy is a young Israelite girl named Esther, who
through a strange turn of events has recently been made queen. Who but she can save her people by turning the king’s mind away from such evil? Perhaps she has been
made queen for just such a time as this! What a powerful, exciting, and moving week
we have ahead! I know I can’t wait!
Keep reading and I’ll see you in the Bible!

Sep 18 Ezra 1-3 End of Exile in Babylon
Sep 19 Ezra 4-6; Psalms 137 Effort to Rebuild Temple
Sep 20 Haggai God’s Commands to Rebuild Temple
Sep 21 Zechariah 1-7 Visions For The Completion of Temple
Sep 22 Zechariah 8-14 Further Visions
Sep 23 Esther 1-5 Queen Esther, Haman’s Plot
Sep 24 Esther 6-10 Crisis Averted