When Ezra returned to Jerusalem, he found the people there had once again turned away from God. They had taken foreign wives and were worshipping their gods. This was the same offense that caused the original exile to Babylon. Seeing their sin, Ezra called upon the leaders of Jews to repent. In accordance with the Will and Law of God, they did.
Nehemiah was a cup-bearer for the king of Persia when he asked permission to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. The King agreed and gave him the authority to do what was necessary. Despite threats of violence, subterfuge, and blackmail, Nehemiah was able to complete the work that God had commanded and the walls of Jerusalem were reforged. After the construction, he returned to the king of Persia as promised and remained with him for a period of time. When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he found that the people had once again ignoring the Commandments. As a result, Nehemiah established reforms that ensured that the Law of God was honored in Israel.
Malachi was the last prophet recorded in the Old Testament. After him, no other prophets were raised up for 400 years. His book records the sins of Israel during the time of Nehemiah’s absence and calls for the coming Messiah. In Malachi 3:1, a Messenger is spoken of. This messenger is the same Messenger mentioned in Isaiah 40:3. He is the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He would be, John the Baptist.
Men love the Darkness. The Bible says that, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). It is easier to sin than to obey the word of God, and that is witnessed by the constant backsliding of Israel. Only when a prophet or man of God convicted the people of their sin did they recognize their evil acts and repent. There is so much we can learn from the Old Testament.
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