Today’s Tasting: Ezra 1-3
7o years after the Jewish captivity, Cyrus, King of Persia, was charged by the Lord God of Israel to rebuild the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. He declared God as Lord and obeyed Him by sending the Israelites back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.
Cyrus publicly recognized Zerubabbel as the Prince of Judah, the rightful heir to the throne of David and assigned him as Governor. Cyrus offers a royal grant from his treasury to assist Zerubabbel in the building project and sends along with him all the items from his royal treasury, which was plundered by Nebuchadnezzar from the original temple. All the vessels of gold and silver numbered 5400, (v. 1:11).
God stirred up the heads of the households of Judah and Benjamin along with the priests and Levites to rebuild the house of the Lord. The people also gave freewill offerings to assist in the rebuilding of the temple. There was a group of men whose names were not found in the genealogical record. So, they were excluded from the priesthood as ceremonially unclean.
Zerubabbel did everything according to the writings of Moses in rebuilding the temple. He built the altar, placed it in its proper place, and reestablished the appointed feasts and offerings as God had directed Moses.
When they laid the foundation everyone shouted, praising God and giving thanks to Him. There were some among them that had seen the original temple built by Solomon. They wept at the laying of the foundation. Their weeping mixed with shouts of praise were heard afar off.
Today’s Nourishment: It has been said that, “All good things come to an end”. In these chapters the bad thing of decades of Israeli captivity comes to an end. God’s will always comes to pass. His prophets foretold of rebuilding the temple and the surviving remnant were sent to accomplish this task. Unlike the Pharaoh of Egypt, King Cyrus of Persia declared the Lord of Israel as God and obeys Him.
Just as God can use our ‘enemies’ to punish us, He can also use them to bless us and send us on our way to fulfill His will in our lives. God never sends us on our mission for His plan and purpose without the provisions needed to succeed, just as Cyrus provided from the king’s treasury for the rebuilding project. Trust God to provide.
God can also restore to you that which was lost, to use for His glory, just as Cyrus returned from the treasury the items that were plundered from the temple decades before. But, God also expects us to give freely to His work, just as the people of Persia and Israel gave freewill offerings to God’s rebuilding project.
Don’t be like the small group of men who couldn’t find their names in the record of genealogies when the time came to return to Jerusalem. Give your heart to Jesus now. Trust Him as your only way to eternal life with God. Make the decision to follow Him and live your life to honor Him. As soon as you receive Him as your Lord and Savior, your name will be written in His genealogical record; the Lamb’s book of Life and you will be secure in Him for all eternity.
Pray with me: Lord Jesus, I come to you now and ask you into my heart, into my life. Please, wash away my sin, my rebellion, my bad attitude. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Lead me and direct me on your path and plan for my life that I might honor you in all I say and do. Restore to me what you see fit and I trust in your provision for my life’s work. I honor you today and thank you for your sacrifice on the cross, for your love and for your salvation. Thank you for adding my name to your family record and help me to live my life for your glory. Amen.
Tomorrow’s Tasting: Ezra 4-6; Psalm 137
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