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LESSON

INTRODUCTION: IT IS GOOD TO BE BACK WITH YOU. APPRECIATE GREG AND PAT TEACHING THE LESSON FOR ME WHEN I WAS GONE.

LETS REVIEW. AS A RESULT OF A DECREE BY CYRUS, UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF ZERUBBABEL AND JOSHUA SOME OF GOD'S PEOPLE MOVED BACK TO JERUSALEM AND STARTED TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE THAT HAD BEEN DESTROYED BY THE BABYLONIANS. THEIR NEW (OLD) NEIGHBORS OFFERRED TO HELP, BUT THE GOD'S PEOPLE DECLINED THE OFFER AND WORKED TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE ALONE. THAT EXCITED OPPOSITION TO THE BUILDING BY THESE NEIGHBORS.

THE OPPOSITION DISCOURAGED THE JEWS FROM REBUILDING THE TEMPLE AND THE CITY. CHAPTER 4, WHICH IS WHAT YOU DISCUSSED LAST WEEK, IS A SUMMARY OF ALL OF THE PROBLEMS THAT THE JEWS FACED.

AS YOU LEARNED LAST WEEK, NOT ONLY WERE THE JEWS DISCOURAGED, BUT A GREAT DEAL OF THE PROBLEM WITH REBUILDING THE TEMPLE AND THE CITY OF JERUSALEM WAS THAT THE LOCAL OPPOSITION WERE WRITING LETTERS TO THE ASSYRIAN KING WARNING THAT GOD'S PEOPLE WERE TROUBLEMAKERS AND THAT ONE LOOK AT HISTORY WOULD CONVINCE THE KING OF THAT. LAST WEEK YOU DISCUSSED THE LETTER FROM REHUM AND SHIMSHAI. THE KING DID TAKE OUT THE HISTORY BOOKS, DECIDED THAT REHUM WAS RIGHT AND STOPPED THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE. (WHAT YOU STUDIED LAST WEEK IS PARITIALLY OUT OF ORDER CHRONOLOGICALLY.)

THIS WEEK WE LOOK AT HOW THE WORK STARTED AGAIN AND ANOTHER LETTER WRITING PROBLEM. SO LETS GET INTO IT!

I. CONNECTION BETWEEN HEARING GOD'S WORD AND MOVING FORWARD.

II. THE LETTER TO DARIUS.

III. NEXT WEEK: EZRA 7 & 8.