Monday, June 17, 2019

Ezra Bible Study - Stirred: Cyrus' Proclamation

Ezra begins with a proclamation from King Cyrus, the king of the Persian Empire, considered the greatest ruling power in the world at that time. Cyrus was a great military leader, bent on universal conquest. Babylon fell before his army - B.C. 538 on the night of Belshazzar’s feast (Daniel. 5:30), and then the ancient dominion of Assyria was also added to his empire (Isaiah 21:2)In capturing Babylon, the Jews had new leadership under King Cyrus. The oft-quoted verse in Jeremiah 29 refers to the Jews who were in captivity. In Jeremiah 29:10, Jeremiah prophesies that after 70 years are passed in Babylon, I (God) will visit you because God knew the plans he had toward his people: thoughts of peace and not of evil to bring you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). God had plans for the Jews' freedom.

The Jews were no longer in captivity, but they were still in Babylon. If they knew of this prophecy, they probably could not conceive how their lives would turn around; how they would be the beneficiaries of peace

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Book Review - Hearts Set Free by Jess Lederman

I had no idea what I was undertaking when I said yes to reviewing this book.

Hearts Set Free is complicated, epic, messy, and disjointed, just like real life. It is semi-autobiographical spanning a timeframe of 80 years or more that starts in native Alaska and ends in Las Vegas. It's a lot to keep track of - characters, connections, and timeframes with a little bit of spiritual warfare - devils, demons, and visions.

The story eventually becomes engaging, but it takes a while to get there. Luke is one of the main characters, and we learn about his background, which initially starts in Native Alaska. His father abandons his family - Luke and his mother, which starts them on the quest to finding him. They eventually do find him, many years later in Vegas where he died as he was working on a dam. In the interim, we also meet David Gold, who became a preacher in the Vegas desert. David is Luke's stepfather. There are other characters - Tim Faber and Joan Reed who connect with Daniel Gold - Luke's

Monday, June 3, 2019

Ezra Bible Study - Who Was Ezra?

Before we jump into the events written by Ezra, let's discover some fundamentals about Ezra.

This book bears his name while showing how God used Ezra and others to fulfill his plan for the Jews. The book of Ezra is considered a historical book and begins where 2 Chronicles ends. In the chronological order of the Bible, Ezra and Nehemiah are considered the end of the old testament. Ezra details the rebuilding of the second temple which was ultimately destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans.

Knowledge of the Law was lost during the seventy-year Babylonian exile. The Babylonian