For Such A Time As This
What is God up to?
Sometimes we just don't know what God is up to in the everyday messy-ness of our lives.
And these are seriously messy, crazy, weird times! COVID, travel bans, borders closed, businesses closing all around us and political unrest around the world...what is God trying to tell us?
What a perfect time to study a messy, crazy, weird Book of the Bible. Like I said this week it is definitely an exciting story… filled with parties, drinking, anger, sex, murder, intrigue, lots of ironies…. and a beauty pageant. It’s a story about a control freak king and a trophy wife. It is sort of a romantic drama… like a Cinderella story… only weirder.
I believe God gave us 66 Books of the Bible and we should study all 66! But for this season of life, Esther seems to fit perfectly...for all its messy-ness!
Esther - The Young Girl. Look what God did in Esther's life! An young, orphan, Jewish girl in a very MESSY situation. It's an amazing story!! I am praying for you as you open up the Book of Esther and dig in. I am praying that you will not only hear God's voice but that you will obey Him. He wants to use you right where you are... just like He used Esther. Or perhaps God will use you like He used Mordecai - as the encourager, the Truth-Teller, the initiator.
The Sin of God’s People
The Israelites (the Jews) didn’t listen to God’s messengers, His prophets
The Jews were exiled in three stages by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
The Jews’ exile or captivity lasted 70 years.
Babylon Conquers Israel
Jerusalem and The Temple Destroyed
2 Kings 24:8-16. Babylon destroyed the city and the temple; they took the people and temple articles.
Daniel 5. Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon used the gold and silver vessels from God’s temple at a feast he gave for 1,000 of his nobles. That very night he lost his kingdom.
Persia Conquers Babylon
The Medes and Persians conquered the Babylonians—(Some of your Bibles call the Babylonians the Chaldeans.)
Darius the Mede received the kingdom. Cyrus the Persian reigned with him.
2 Chronicles 36:9-23. At the end of the 70 years, the Lord stirred Cyrus’s spirit to proclaim that the Jews could return to build the Lord’s house in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 44:24-45:7. This was prophesied by Isaiah about Cyrus more than 100 years before Cyrus was born.
The temple was completed prior to the time of Esther but the walls around Jerusalem were not rebuilt yet.