- God is with us. He has always been with us. He will always be with us. (Week 1)
- God loves me no matter what. God loves me even when I mess up. (Week 2)
- God keeps his promises. (Week 3)
- There are consequences for disobedience. (Week 11)
God is faithful and fair. If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins. He will forgive every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure.1 John 1:9 NIrV
God promised His people their very own land, in return they promised to follow God and worship only him. Unfortunately, God’s people were unwilling to keep their promise. As a result they lost their country and endured many years living as captives in faraway countries. There were some like Daniel, Mordecai, and Esther who chose to remain faithful to God. Eventually, Israel was allowed to return to their home and rebuild.
1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:
2 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says:
“The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you!Ezra 1:1-3 NLT
- The first year of Cyrus’s reign over Babylon was 538 B.C.
- Who predicted that Cyrus would allow Israel to return home?
- Does God keep His promises?
- Why did Cyrus allow Israel to return to Judah?
- What else did Cyrus say?
1These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”Nehemiah 1:1-3 NLT
- This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of November and December 446 B.c.
- Why is Nehemiah concerned for the settlers in Jerusalem?
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
8 “Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. 9 But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’
10 “The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants.Nehemiah 1:4-10
- What was Nehemiah’s response?
- Can God be trusted?
- Is there anything that is too big for God to handle?
Does God like it when we do bad things? Have you done bad things? Me, too, everyone has.
Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory.Romans 3:23 NIrV
If we all mess up how do we make things right with God? The first step is to be honest and tell him.
But God is faithful and fair. If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins. He will forgive every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure.1 John 1:9 NIrV
Remember Pastor Nate and I are available if you want to discuss this lesson.
This is our last lesson in the Old Testament. Next week we start with the ministry of Jesus.
Keep Growing in Grace,