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Recording, till we get to that flight, so I have to wait.
Do welcome to episode 23 of the plan.
We are almost done with the Old Testament.
We've been telling the story of the entire Bible from beginning to end.
We started with Genesis in September and this will be my last sermon, in the Old Testament, Pastor.
Jack is going to be taking us through Esther next week.
He's been teaching a class on it.
And so it makes sense to have him teach us how the story of Esther fit into the story of the Bible.
But what we've been doing is we've been looking to tell the entire story, The Bible as one story and this is the plot that we've been following.
The Bible is the story of God's plan, to establish a Place.
Full of people who live out their purpose, in his presence, in every part of the Bible.
This is what's going on that.
God made the world and you gave people the job of ruling over it on his behalf, and he wanted to live here with us and we messed it up and we kept messing it up.
And so, the Bible is the story of God putting that, right?
And he decided to work through one particular group of people the Israelites and accomplish.
Plan through them so that people could look at Israel and see who God is and what he wants for his people and be brought to God, but we found over the last twenty or so weeks, is that the Israelites weren't any better that than anybody else.
And so they kept messing up and kept messing up.
And finally last week.
We cover the point in the story, where God says enough.
This is gone too far.
I cannot continue to support you without giving people the wrong impression about who I am that the Rebellion has gone on so long that at this point, I need to show people that I, that I do not endorse what you're doing and so he invoked the curses of the Covenant.
Basically, he invoked the, the breach of contract clause in the agreement that he and Israel had signed, and that meant that day were sent into Exile.
The Babylonian Empire came in and destroyed Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and took them away into exile.
Today, we're picking up the story about 70 years later.
And the one big thing that's changed in world.
History, between, is that the Babylonian Empire was conquered by the Persians.
So now, the Persian Empire is in charge.
His name is Cyrus and he's going to make an announcement as part of declaring himself, the new king, that that will move us into the next part of the story.
As we read our opening section.
Remember how we keep our our bearings in the story.
The Bible we watch for, who is the story about Where is their home?
How can they meet with God?
And what did God tell them to do?
And as we read the story of Ezra Nehemiah, which is actually one book that our Bible split into two as you read it.
With this approach.
You find a very interesting message coming out of this book.
The let's let's start that be hitting it in the first year of Cyrus King of Persia in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by.
Jeremiah the Lord move the heart of Cyrus King of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing.
This is what Cyrus can you purchase says the Lord, the god of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem and Judah.
Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem and Judah and build the Temple of the Lord, the god of Israel.
The God Who is in Jerusalem and may their God be with them.
Then the family has a Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites everyone whose heart got it, moved prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.
All right.
So who is the story about what this point we're going to start to use a new term that generally is used to refer to the people of Israel as they go into Exile.
Now, we're going to call them the Jews.
You wonder where that term comes from.
It's a it comes from judite because those that survive and survive this long.
The remnant of Israel is just the nation of Judah until as they go into Exile around the known world.
They're called the juice.
At this point, they don't really have a central leader.
There's no King on the throne and we're going to see Ashley a group of people who will lead the Jews during this time.
So it's not really one person leading them.
Since the throne is empty.
Where is their home?
We've been calling it the prot the, the kingdom of Judah.
But at this point, it's a province of the Persian Empire.
Now keep in mind at this point and even by the end of the story, the majority of Jews will not live in the province of Judah, but that is their Homeland, that is that it may not be where their living, but it is their home.
It is the land that God had promised them.
How can they meet with God?
The temple has been destroyed and that means that it is point.
They can't know.
That doesn't mean God can't meet with them.
But when were talking about the presence of God, we're saying, is there a place where they can go and count on God being there?
Like is there a place where God keeps office hours?
And at this point there is not till God made meat with them.
But they can't meet with God anywhere because the temple is destroyed.
So, what is their purpose?
What is their job?
They've got two jobs, one that came out of this story.
What were they told to do? Rebuild the Temple job is to rebuild the Temple but they also have a task from the Covenant that we talked last week about the fact that the Covenant with a broken, the Covenant and God counted.
The contract is broken, but the book of Deuteronomy actually talks about what happened after the Covenant is broken.
And here's what it says.
When all these blessings and curses I've set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord, your God disperses you among the Nations.
And when you and your children return to the Lord, your God and Obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today.
Then the Lord, your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and will gather you again from all the nations where he scattered.
Truck says in Deuteronomy, all the way back in Moses, that when the Covenant is broken and you receive all these punishments.
I will end your punishment when you return to me and obey me.
So, they're big job.
The most important job is to return to God and Obey him.
Remediate ask is rebuild the Temple.
But the broader task for all God's people is to return to God and Obey him.
We want to keep those tasks in mine as we go into the story.
Does you read through the beginning chapters of Ezra?
Zaruba Bell?
Who would be king if they still had a king leads, the people there and they start building the Temple and some of the neighboring Nations come in and asked to help because they also worship God and roval says, no only Jews allowed into we're not accepting any help.
We're going to do this ourselves.
And so that make some enemies and there's like letter-writing campaigns and all this kind of controversy and stuff, but eventually they do get the temple built.
And we're going to look at the dedication of the temple, but I want you to compare what we're going to read to other moments, like this, that we've encountered in the story because we've encountered two other moments similar to this one.
And they were very important moment in the history of Israel.
When the Tabernacle was dedicated and when the temple was dedicated, you knows the both of those were key moments in Israel's history.
In terms of putting together, the initial parts of the plan in the wilderness and then finally achieving all the parts of God's plan.
Under Solomon do TV.
The remember what happened there and watch what happens when they dedicate this Temple or What doesn't happen?
The temple was completed on the third day of the month of Adar in the six year of the reign of King Darius.
Then the people of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the Exiles.
Celebrated, the dedication of the house of God with joy.
Are the dedication of this house of God, they offered a hundred balls, 200 Rams, 400 male lambs.
And as a sin offering for all those real 12 male goats one for each of the tribes of Israel and install, the priests in their division, the Levites in their groups, for the service of God in Jerusalem.
According to what is written in the book of Moses.
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