"Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."
(Ezra 1:2 KJV)
Our Awesome God started the rebuilding of Jerusalem with a visit to Cyrus king of Persia, which included Judah at the time (Ezra 1 tells of the preparation to go). Sheshbazzar, a son of the exiled king Jechoniah, was appointed governor of Judah by Cyrus (Ezra 5:14) and with his nephew, Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2), led the first group of exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. They took with them money and all the vessels of the Temple (Ezra 1:8, 11) which Nebuchadnezzar had taken (2 Kings 24:13). When they got there, they laid the foundation of the Temple (Ezra 5:16). Note that Sheshbazzar was about 60 years old when they left for Jerusalem. He died shortly after arriving and Zarubbabel was appointed governor of Judah (Ezra 5:1-2).
It took 23 years to complete the temple, including a space of 6 years that the next king of Persia told them to stop building (This was Esther's king, Ahasuerus, sometimes called Artaxerxes). Later Ezra went to Jerusalem to teach the people the law and establish judges (Ezra 7:8,10).
Then, 58 years later, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. (Nehemiah 2:1) It took 12 years before he went back to king Artaxerxes (not Ahasuerus) in Babylon (Nehemiah 2:6). When he returned to Jerusalem it was as governor and he reorganized the government according to Mosaic Law (Nehemiah 12:26). In Nehemiah 12, Zerubbabel and Ezra brought priests and Levites to dedicate the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem.
It took about 93 years to rebuild the walls and the Temple before the people began rebuilding their houses, but through all the problems and delays, nobody gave up. Our Awesome God had His people chosen to help accomplish His purpose of rebuilding His Temple and city. He supplied different people with different skills for different parts of the task and they did it all in Our Awesome God’s sequence and timing.
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and Worship Service at (10:30 AM) Then again Sunday evening (6:00 PM) for Bible Study along with the children’s AWANA clubs, which run until 7:30 PM. Wednesday evening (7:00 PM) there is Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. When you come, ask about the Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God!
"And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father."
(Genesis 49:1, 2 KJV)
To be an Israelite by blood, a person must be a descendent of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The 12 sons of Jacob had grown into 12 tribes by the time they left Egypt. All together they had become a 3 million man “nation” of Our Awesome God's chosen people.
The tribe of Levi was to be dedicated to God’s service. Moses, a Levite, was the leader out of Egypt and Our Awesome God gave him the Law. God put Moses’ brother, Aaron, the High Priest in charge of all the sacrifices and worship in the Tabernacle, assisted by his sons. The rest of the Levites were responsible for temple transport, security, maintenance and provisions.
Also of special consideration, the tribe of Joseph was divided between his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Each of these “half tribes” was given equality with the other 11 tribes so 13 tribes came to conquer and divide up Canaan, the Promised Land.
Only 12 tribes received large tracts of land. Those people needed access to the priesthood through the Levites, so instead of a land tract, Our Awesome God gave the Levites cities with adjoining “suburbs” within all the other 12 tribal lands. So the 12 landed tribes were: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh. The four most prominent have been mentioned earlier as: Judah. The tribe of kings and the most preeminent of the 12 tribes in the Bible. Reuben: Descended from Jacob’s firstborn, whom Jacob said was as “uncontrolled as water” (Genesis 49:4). Simeon: The man Simeon (with his brother Levi) slaughtered the men of an entire city to avenge his sister (Genesis 34:25–31). Levi: The tribe of the priesthood. The tribe of Levi is noted for standing by Moses during the golden calf incident at Mount Sinai (Exodus 32:25–29). The “Twelve Tribes of Israel” refers to the twelve tribes who inherited land in or around Canaan when it was divided by Joshua.
Our Awesome God still uses sinners to teach them about Himself, what He expects of them and that He can do anything (even forgive sinners who know they have sinned to create and populate His heaven). God will adopt us if we will just believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, and that He died for us, taking our sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for us when we sin. Are you ready to believe? God loves you! Join us at church next Sunday.
Learn more about Our Awesome God by reading His Holy Bible, praying to Him and worshipping in a church which preaches and teaches the Holy Bible. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 9:30 AM for Bible Study and 10:30 AM for worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM for Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and prayer. First, it is time that you should know and love Our Awesome God as your creator and Savior. We can show you how from the Word of God and we love visitors.
Flo & Bill