Ezra 1-3

What does it say?
Cyrus king of Persia made a proclamation during which he gave credit to the Lord God for his kingdom and encouraged the survivors to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the house of God. Every man that was stirred of heart returned to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem and Cyrus returned the articles of gold and silver numbering 5,400. The leaders returning were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah; also the people returning were numbered by their patriarchal name. Then the priests where numbered by their patriarchal name, as well as the Levites. There were also 652 who returned but were not able to give evidence of their patriarch, those priest who could not give evidence were excluded from priesthood. The entire congregation was 42,360, plus the servants were 7,337, and they had many animals that they brought with them. Those who returned gave willingly to rebuild the house of the Lord and they all lived in the cities of Israel. Before the first brick was laid for the foundation of the house, the leaders built the altar and offered burnt offerings from the first day of the seventh month continually. The leaders, the priest, and the Levites over saw the building project. When the foundation for temple was laid, the congregation came together as one, singing praises and giving thanks to the Lord; many of them were emotional when they saw that the foundation had been laid.

What does it mean?
Deuteronomy 30:1-6 promises restoration from captivity when the people return to the Lord God and obey him with all their heart and soul. God’s promises are always yes and amen. God will always act in accordance with his divine nature and his word is always truth. God is not like man who tells lies nor does he need to repent. Whatever God has promised he will do. If he has made a promise we can be assured that he will make all of his promises good. (Num 23:19) 

What shall I do?
I shall trust in the word of the Lord. Nearly two-thousand years have passed since Jesus bodily rose from the dead, commissioned the church and was taken up into heaven. (Acts 1:1-11) The apostle Paul preached at the Areopagus, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31, NASB) Jesus will return as he has promised but no man knows the day or the hour of his return; however, we can trust that he will return to raise us from the dead because God has promised in Jesus Christ that he will. Therefore, I shall trust the word of the Lord and not loose heart.

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