The Battle for the Blessing (week 4) Message Notes: 1.28.24

“The Battle for the Blessing”

Ezra & Nehemiah Series Week #4

January 21st 2024

We have called this series “The Battle for the Blessing”

· We must contend every day for the fruit of God’s blessings.

This Week: Ezra 1:3-11

This section is often subtitled “Cyrus’ Proclamation”…

· Ezra 1:3-4

NOTE: Many people doubt that the Biblical accounts are accurate, and insist they must be made-up to control people.

· In 1879, an archaeological dig of the ancient ruins of Babylon,

the “Cyrus Cylinder” was uncovered

o On it is written, in a specific type of ancient Akkadian Cuneiform, the text of Cyrus’ decree on which Ezra based his account!

These Royal Decrees were read by a herald in the town square, or more commonly at the main city gates.

· Ezra 1:3

Remember, not all of the “freed” Jews take Cyrus up on His offer…

· Fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy…

o Isaiah 10:22

The locals in any Persian district are to help stock the Jews for the trip!

· Ezra 1:4

Now for the next section, which is usually known as: “Holy Vessels Restored”

The Holy Spirit had to be at work here, lighting a fire in the heart of these chosen to return…

· Ezra 1:5

Why did the entire Levite tribe go back?

· Deuteronomy 18:1-2

This are given a voluntary offering, above and beyond what was “Encouraged”

· Ezra 1:6

We should pause a second to look at the parallels between this “Second Exodus” to the first Exodus from Egypt…

· Exodus 12:35-36

o The Gold and silver was used to build the Tabernacle

Now, here’s how it went with the Jews leaving Babylon:

· Ezra 1:7-8

Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem in 587 B.C. after a 10 year siege!

· 2 Kings 24:13

As the Lord had said?

o 2 Kings 20:17

God knows how to protect those things that he calls sacred!

· 2 CHRONICLES 36:7

Those precious articles would be protected from mistreatment until they could be returned! Listen to this incredible story:

· DANIEL 5:1-2

God could not permit the defiling of the sacred to continue…

· DANIEL 5:5-

None of the kings’ men can decipher the writing…

· They call in Daniel the prophet to interpret the inscription, and he translates…

· Read all of Daniel 5 for the whole story!

Back to our text:

· Ezra 1:9-11

o This is a celebration of restoration of what was left of Solomons Temple!

We talked about the parallels between the first Exodus, and this one, but there are some very important distinctions:

· The Israelites in Egypt were held against their will as slaves

· The Jews in Babylon were only being held captive by their indifference.

The Israelites in Egypt were only satisfied with their miraculous deliverance for about six weeks

· Exodus 16:2-3

We cannot allow ourselves to become voluntary slaves to indifference, comfort, status, or to forget who we are meant to be!

· 1 Peter 2:9-10

Remember, God knows how to protect those things that he calls, sacred and holy…

· 1 Peter 2:11-12

When Jesus returns, will the way that you have carried yourself in this foreign land, give you glory to God, or will you be found lacking?

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