T is for Temple

  • 539-430 BC
  • Books: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, some Psalms
  • God is faithful to His promises
    • God restores Israel from exile
      • 1st return – 538 BC
        • After decree of Cyrus in 539
        • Led by Zerubabel and Joshua
      • 2nd return – 458 BC
        • Led by scribe Ezra
    • Temple is rebuilt
      • Under Zerubabel and Joshua
      • Opposition encountered; work initially stops
      • God sends prophets to encourage Judah
        • Haggai: “Build God’s house!”
        • Zechariah – a royal “branch” (of David) will build God’s temple
      • Temple is finished 516
        • However, God’s presence does not fill it
    • Jerusalem is restored
      • Under Nehemiah – returns to Jerusalem 445BC – rebuilds wall and houses
  • Israel continues to sin
    • Intermarriage with surrounding nations
    • Levites leave temple because people don’t bring tithes
    • Husbands are not being faithful to their wives
    • Profaning the Sabbath
    • This is despite a covenant renewal after a reading of the law. The people promised:
      • Not to intermarry
      • Not to profane Sabbath by trading on Sabbath
      • To tithe
  • God continues to show grace
    • Saves Jews through Esther
    • Does not destroy Israel when they break the covenant
  • God continues to make and carry out promises
    • Covenant renewal (Ezra 9-10)
    • God will raise up a royal branch to build His temple (Zech)
    • The king is coming on a donkey (Zech)
    • God will dwell with his people
    • The LORD will come but has been delayed by the sin of people (Malachi)
    • Prophet will come first to prepare way
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