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Transition into the fourth cycle

Transition: The 3rd cycle is about the history of God's people beginning with Abraham & concluding with judgment in the wilderness cycle. 4th cycle is about history of the people of God beginning with the New start under Joshua and Caleb.


4th cycle reports that...

-The conquest and settlement of the land (Joshua)
-The origin and spread of tribal evil (Judges)
-The monarchy: United Monarchy and divided
-Judgment: Israel, Judah


Joshua: The New Agent
The fourth cycle

"The Warrior Prophet"
-Servant of Moses
-One of the 12 spies representing the tribe of Ephraim
-Lord encourages Joshua for his new role
-The Lord establishes Joshua as leader in the sight of all Israel
-Joshua gives his last will and testament: "Not one word of all the Lord's good words has failed"
-Joshua is the "first prophet like Moses"


4th Cycle: The origin and spread of Israel's Tribal Sins

Cycle of Israel's sin
1. Sin -Israel did the evil
2. Servitude - Oppression by a foreign power
3. Supplication - Cried out to the Lord
4. Salvation - The Lord raised up Judges to deliver Israel
5. Return to sin

-At this time, the political, religious, and moral anarchy led to the longing for kingship
-Everyone did what was right in their own eyes
-Because of wrong attitudes and wrong timing, Gods intended gift of kingship becomes God's act of judgment
-God will answer prayers when we are waiting on His timing


Joshua: The New Start (4th Cycle)

Conquest and settlement of land
-Next step in fulfilling Lord's promises to Abraham
-God continues to reveal Himself as warrior
-Joshua distributes the conquered land to the 12 tribes of Israel
-The dominant term in the book of Joshua is "rest", "conquest" and "settlement"


The Monarchy (the 4th cycle)

Two main periods of time: The United Monarchy (Saul, David, Solomon) and The divided Monarchy (10 tribe Israel, and 2 tribe Judah)


The United Monarchy (The 4th cycle)

-Saul, David, Solomon
-Kingship was always part of God's plan for Abraham's descendants
-Israel's demand for a king is wrong (rebelled against God's rule)
-God keeps His word for blessings and cursing, Israel could not remain obedient through the generations (Obedience/surrender are the paths we need to take as believers)
-David was chosen to be Israel's next king (Davidic Covenant)
-With the advance of Israel's history, there comes a narrowing of the Father-Son relationship between God and his people


The Divided Nation (The 4th Cycle)

-After Solomon died in the time of Rehoboam, the United Nation divides into 2 nations: Israel (920-722) and Judah (920-586)
-Israel rejects Rehoboam as king, makes Jeroboam their king
-Jeroboam institutes a variety of reforms - inventing a new religion - become Jeroboam's sin (Golden calves, non-levitical priesthood, changed religious calendar)
-Jeroboam did not repent, like Saul and Solomon.


Judgment (The 4th Cycle) Upon Israel

the Assyrian Captivity
-After two centuries of the sin of Jeroboam God executes ultimate punishment upon Israel tearing Israel from the land; at this point, the nation of Israel ceases to exist
-Israel recites their guilt to vindicate God's justice and judgment
-Exile was because Israel had sinned, in spite of the fact that earlier God had redeemed them out of Egypt
-Their sin was in spite of warnings, and was wilful - therefore they were sent into captivity to Assyria


Judgment upon Judah (the 4th cycle)

-Babylonian Captivity
-Just as Jeroboam was the model for evil kingship in Israel, so David was the model for right kingship in Judah
-Judah is led into apostasy. Between reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah is the "evil" reign of Manasseh (son of Hezekiah)
-Judah will go into captivity; sin of idolatry
-In order to fulfill his word to Jeremiah, the LORD causes Cyrus to return Judah from captivity back to Palestine


The Fifth Cycle

-From Joshua and Zerubbabel to destruction of the second temple.
-Cycle of turning points
-Destruction of Babylonian Empire, and rise of the Persian Empire
-Agents of the new start: Cyrus king of Persia,, Zerubbabel and Joshua of Judah.
-Remnant Theme:The remnant/outcasts will be scattered to the ends of the earth. Then will be brought back, restored to the land.
-Restoration: Resurrection of the nation
-Rebuilding the restored nation: Rebuilding the temple


Agents of the New Start (5th Cycle)

Cyrus King of Persia, Zerubbabel and Joshua of Judah
Haggai, Zachariah, Ezra and Nehemiah.


PRIMARY agents of 5th cycle

Cyrus King of Persia
-his armies defeated the Babylonians
-Ezra reports that Cyrus is God's agent for the restoration of "Captive Israel" to their homeland and the rebuilding of the Temple

Joshua (priestly leader) & Zerubbabel (royal leader)
-represent all Israel (along with 11 or 12 elders)
-their initial role is to lead the return of the temple furnishings and the exiles back to the land


REMNANT THEME (5th cycle)

-Remnant/outcasts of Israel will be scattered to the ends of the earth. Then this remnant will be brought back, restored to the land.
-Divine basis of restoration is the Lord's compassion; God will create a new nation with a new spiritual dynamic.
-The temple furnishings: judah and the temple vessels will be exiled and restored
-The Glory of God: clearly, the God who has abandoned the Temple, city and land will also return to land, city and temple
-The Duration of the Captivity: when Babylon has completed its 70 years God will restore Judah to the land.


RESTORATION (5th cycle)

Divine Motive for Restoration: restoration will vindicate God's holy name.
-Resurrection of the nation: Valley of dry bones shows God recreating the nation which has been destroyed
-Restoration is for the clans of Israel
-God will take Judah and Israel and will again make them a united nation


Rebuilding the restored nation (5th cycle)

Leaders are Joshua and Zerubbabel
-Cyrus restores the deported people to their land and allows them to rebuild their sanctuaries (fulfills prophecy of Jeremiah)
-Temple and altar is rebuilt
-Rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah)
-all foreigners were excluded from Israel
-Sabbath: Israel covenants to refrain from commercial activity on the Sabbath