S1E20: Epoch 5 – The Return 1

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Epoch 5 – The Return 1

Watch video #5 under the 8 Great Epochs course. It will be worth your time!

Israel (to Babylon) and Judah (to Assyria) have spent decades in captivity for their choices to dishonor the Living God. It is God’s intention to once again gain His chosen people’s attention. If it is so difficult for His children, what hope do the rest of the nations have apart from God’s plan in Jesus?

This session will cover pages 62-66 in your study guide. The guide can be found under Courses: The 8 Great Epochs. There is a free pdf or you can order a printed booklet direct from the publisher.

On page 62 we consider Matthew 7:13,14 and the concept of a remnant. Those of us who believe in Jesus are indeed a part of this chosen remnant. We ask two crucial questions relating to our personal world views – in sweeping ways. You will find that Joel 2:12,13 illuminates the partnership of faith we share with our Lord God, and further explanation of what it means to have our eyes opened to Kingdom living. Page 63 reviews the part of the timeline in which the captivity, return, and 400 silent years materialize.

Now we consider the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. They tell us an overlapping account of Israel’s supernatural return to their homeland where they will rebuild both their temple of worship and the walls of their city. These structures will remain until they are destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, after Messiah Jesus has made use of the backdrop for His message to the nations. Page 64 investigates the account of Ezra, including his God-purpose and His God heart (7:10). Ezra prays and God’s favor unfolds in a big way (7:25-28). The temple is where the Jews came to worship the Lord God, even though He is quite clear about where He dwells:

“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands…”  Acts 17:24 

“…who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”                   1 Timothy 6:16

Nehemiah involves all of the returning Jews from leaders to priests to neighbors. The city is vulnerable, and the frightening threats come from all around. Page 65 recounts the purpose and arrival of Nehemiah, and his desire to rebuild the walls and see the hearts of God’s people revived. Once again we consider the key passages within the overview chart, and then begin to discuss aspects of our own world views. How do we learn to think and build the way God does, and what are the things which renew and revive us in the midst of the hard work and enemy intimidation and attacks?

Esther gives us insight into the powerful hand of the Lord God over leaders and nations. He is always way ahead of His people and their journeys, always asking us to turn toward heaven for help. God’s name is not mentioned in this entire book, and yet His fingerprint is upon everything in it. Notice the night that the King cannot sleep. Coincidence? You decide.

God has made us to be honoring worshippers of His glory. This is much more than going to church or participating in impactful worship and singing. He wants our heart, and Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther give us huge insights into how this is accomplished in both a natural and supernatural partnership. After all, faith without works is dead, right?

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6

Enjoy consuming these books into your spiritual heart and mind. We are!
Dave and Burnadette

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