An excerpt from “The 14 Era” booklet by Iva May:
The Return Era
Esther; Ezra; Nehemiah; Haggai; Zechariah; Malachi
(Approximately 85 years)
At the end of the 70-year period, God raised up a king named Cyrus (prophesied by Isaiah). He sent the first wave of exiles back to Jerusalem—just as God had said—to rebuild the city and the temple. He sent with them the vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar had taken when he captured the city. When the people grew weary of the work,
God spoke through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to call them to finish the temple. Jewish captives living in Persia were threatened by a powerful person in King Ahasuerus’ government, so God raised up a Jewish girl, Esther, as the queen of the Persians, to save her people from certain death. God also raised up Ezra, a faithful priest, to return His people to the land He had promised Abraham. Ezra, along with the godly governor Nehemiah, led the people to observe the Book of the Law, to worship God, to rebuild the wall and the city, and God protected them from their enemies by His power. The hold of idols on the people was broken. For the rest of Israel’s history, they never again turned to images made by man; however, the prophet Amos (prophesying to Israel) had warned the people that there would be a famine of the hearing of the Word of God (Amos 8:11). The last prophet of this period, Malachi, called the priests to honor God with their sacrifices and called the people to honor God with their tithes.
What does the Return Era reveal about God?
• God raises up prophets who faithfully warn Israel of judgment and to prophesy of future events.
• God raises up leaders who bear His heart for His people.
• God accomplishes His purposes in the geo-political realm.
• God revives the hearts of His people when their leaders teach His Word and they obey His word.
• God places people in strategic places to advocate on behalf of His people.