(Pardon me - I've had the flu all week and this is an attempt to do something to work myself out of it if that's possible. I know that it's not. But anyway...)
Okay so before you go on and read what's on this blog, you should read Ezra 1.
The overly simplified version:
The Jews were in captivity. The King Persia - King Cyrus - was not a believer, however he was charged with rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem. Not only does King Cyrus lets the Jews go, but he provides the materials necessary for them to rebuild the temple. However, not all of them decide they want to return.
This is a reminder to the Jews that God fulfills his promises (Gen. 50:24).
Questions I have:
1. What is this scripture showing us about God?
2. Why didn't everyone go back? Would it be considered disobedience if they didn't? Can this/should this cause tension within the people?
3. What are the different viewpoints affecting the decisions being made? (King Cyrus, The Persians, The Jews who went home, The Jews who stayed behind)
4. How does this story in history parallel to what is going on today in our world? How are we supposed to respond?