Daily Bible Reading:
- Day 1: Ezra 1:1-11
- Day 2: Ezra 3:1-13
- Day 3: Ezra 4:1-24
- Day 4: Ezra 5:1-17
- Day 5: Ezra 6:1-22
Week 43: Ezra 1:1-11 (The Historic Decree of King Cyrus)
- What does the phrase “twist of fate” mean? Can you share about a time when you experienced a sudden twist of fate?
- In our story, the Jewish exiles in Babylon had a sudden twist of fate when Babylon fell and the decree of King Cyrus of Persia set them free (538 BC). According to Ezra, what caused King Cyrus to do this? Read Proverbs 21:1. How does this verse apply to King Cyrus?
- According to Ezra, what great prophet of Judah had foretold of this? Read Jeremiah 29:10-11. What was God’s promise in Jeremiah’s prophecy? How is King Cyrus’ decree a demonstration of God’s faithfulness and sovereignty?
- What did King Cyrus say that the Lord God of heaven had done for him? What did he say that the Lord had charged him to do? Read Daniel 6:25-28. What possible influence might Daniel have had over King Cyrus?
- According to King Cyrus, how were the resources to be raised for the construction of the new temple? What is the difference between a “freewill offering” and “the tithe?” When God’s work needs to be done, why should God’s people be willing to give both the tithe and freewill offerings?
- According to Ezra, God “stirred up the spirit” of King Cyrus (v. 1) and He “stirred the spirit” of the first group of exiles to go rebuild the temple (v. 5). Can you share about a time when God “stirred up your spirit” to do something for Him? What is He stirring your spirit about today?
- When life is hard and you are tempted to lose faith, why does this story teach you that loosing faith is an attitude to change? Can someone share of a time when the Lord God of heaven rescued you from a difficult situation?
- Let’s pray for one another today to never lose faith even when life is hard.