The exile left its mark on Israelite history in an unparalleled manner. The entire national structure of the kingdom, which was thought to be ordained by God himself, came crashing down. This event fulfilled centuries of prophetic warnings, as hundreds of years of tradition, culture, and history was destroyed in just one year. This was their Day of the Lord, and it left them absolutely devastated. Read the book of Lamentations to understand what it felt like to live through the tragedy of Jerusalem’s destruction and the people’s enslavement under Babylonian rule. After spending decades in a foreign land under foreign rule, the Israelites are allowed to return home under Persian rule. However, this offers only a false climax. The people’s spiritual state is as broken as it was before they left. Hope for the future is all they had, but we know how that story ends — Jesus.
Today, we continue our journey through the book of Ezra in chapters 4-7 as we learn from this book.
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