Sunday, June 23, 2013

On 6-30-13, Ezra 3:1-7 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Restoring Joyful Worship aka Joyful Worship Restored

Restoring Joyful Worship aka Joyful Worship Restored
Ezra 3:1-7
International Sunday School Lesson
June 30, 2013

Jed Greenough

The will and purpose of God is all according to His plan and cannot be denied and for the most part He makes it known in advance and I am instantly reminded of this when I read today’s scripture.
Jeremiah mad this advance announcement that we see concerns todays scipture on behalf of “the Lord Almighty”, “I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, declares the Lord, and I will bring them against this land (Israel) and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations….This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.  But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt, declares the Lord, and will make it desolate forever.”  Jeremiah 25:9 and 11-12.
And if that were not enough He said this through Isaiah in 44:28, “who says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, Let it be rebuilt, and of the temple, Let its foundations be laid.”!!! (My exclamation marks of course).
Truly, all should pay attention when He says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”  Isaiah 46:10
Clearly the Bible has much more to say regarding Israel that is yet to be fulfilled but has been likewise revealed.  What else does God foretell us?  Some things are heavily cloaked in prophecy but those matters dealing with a person’s salvation or the opposite are straight up literal.  I think more than what had been fore told about Israel, the temple and Cyrus we should come away from today’s lesson with that!
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.  Does He speak and then not act”  Numbers 22:19
God makes things plain really.  He doesn’t hide what He wants nor what He will do and His word is true.

For Discussion:
1.      Study other scriptures dealing with God using Cyrus against Babylon
2.      Discuss how God uses even those who do not worship Him
3.      Discuss the use of the prophecies dealing with Israel and Cyrus as a method of witnessing to those who doubt
4.      Note that God evidently only wanted some to be motivated to make this important return in rebuilding the temple
5.      Discuss who all God might have moved to make this happen
6.      How many years prior to Cyrus did Isaiah make that prophecy?

Upcoming Lessons
7-7-13:    Restoring the Temple aka Temple Restored Ezra 3:8-13
7-14-13:  Dedicating the Temple aka Dedication of the Temple Ezra 6:13-22
7-21-13:  Fasting and Praying Ezra 7:6-10; 8:21-23 or 8:21-23
7-28-13:  Giving Gifts for the Temple aka Gifts for the Temple Ezra 8:24-35 or 8:24-30

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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