Contributed by Byron Perrine on Jul 9, 2019
I am indebted to Scott Coltrain and John Dobbs ("The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength", Scott Coltrain, SermonCentral.com, Nov. 2002, and, "The Joy of the Lord", John Dobbs, SermonCentral.com, Dec. 2000) for a number of ideas utilized in this sermon.
In the year 587 BC, Jerusalem was sacked and totally destroyed by the Babylonian Empire. The elite of Judean society were carried off into exile. In 538 BC, Cyrus, the King of the Persian Empire, who had recently conquered the Babylonians, issued a decree allowing the Jews held in captivity to