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Read: Ezra 1

The Babylonians take many of the people to Judah to live in Babylon as slaves. They lived there as captives for 70 years, just as Jeremiah predicted in Jeremiah 25:12. The lives of the people living under Babylonian rule can be found in Ezekiel and Daniel. The Babylonians are defeated by the Persians, and the Persians permit some of the people to return to Judah to begin rebuilding the Temple.

Though still living under the rule of the Persians, the people are given more freedom to worship God. Sometimes the people are living under a government that encourages the worship of God; sometimes under one that opposes God; and sometimes one that tolerates God. We should honor God regardless of how our culture or government views God. Our worship of God is always our choice.