In the Old Testament we see God’s faithfulness displayed towards His people, Israel. We see how God had covenanted with them and had, multiple times, delivered them over and over again, even after the people were unfaithful to God. We see Israel worshipping a Golden Calf right after the Exodus when God delivered Israel out of slavery in Egypt. We see how easy it was for Israel to follow the ways of the Philistines in carrying the ark with the cart.
In regards to the nation of Israel, God made a covenant with Israel, which came with a list of blessings and curses. The ultimate covenant curse (that results from disobedience) was exile. Because Israel was continually unfaithful to God, God delivered them into the hands of the Babylonians, and they were displaced from their land. But even in and through the Babylonian invasion, we see God as faithful.
After being in exile for 70 years, the Persians had defeated the Babylonians, which brought the Israelites under King Cyrus of Persia. King Cyrus allowed the people to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. So after 70 years of exile, they returned to their home with a mission: to rebuild the Temple of God, where the people of Israel were to worship.
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