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So I’ve been trying to figure out what book of the bible to do next. I’ve done two New Testament books, so hubby suggested I work on an Old Testament one, but which he had no suggestions. …Just choose something short eh! 🙂 I thought about Job since I’m listening to to study on him, but thinking Ezra maybe instead.
Today let’s embark on Ezra 1.
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:
2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”
5 Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. 6 And all who were about them aided them with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with beasts, and with costly wares, besides all that was freely offered. 7 Cyrus the king also brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8 Cyrus king of Persia brought these out in the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 And this was the number of them: 30 basins of gold, 1,000 basins of silver, 29 censers, 10 30 bowls of gold, 410 bowls of silver, and 1,000 other vessels; 11 all the vessels of gold and of silver were 5,400. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.
The Lord had a plan that he had set in place through Jeremiah. So that plan would come to fruition, Cyrus, in the first year of his reign made a proclamation.
This proclamation was also put down in writing. I’m guessing that was important. If you have something to say just say it.. but in those days if you wanted it remembered you needed to have it written down. This proclamation was written down.
That proclamation: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”
Now Cyrus… was the king of Persia right?
Do you notice what he does here? He acknowledges God! He is aware that God has given him the power that he has. And tells us this “God told him to build in a house in Jerusalem”. He is not only to build it, but to let the people GO there (to Jerusalem in Judah) who wanted to help build the house. These travellers are to be assisted on their way with money, goods and critters. Freewill offerings for The house of the Lord should be sent with them.
I don’t know why…cause I know God can do as he wishes… but it surprises me that God would arrange for Cyrus to do this. 🙂 I know… I shouldn’t be, but I am. 🙂 This secular king… heedful of God. Just sits with me.
Anyways, the rest of the chapter tells us that people rose up. Got ready to go. They were aided in their journey. So the proclamation had a good end result.
I know I’m being shorter than I often am with my devotions… but honestly I’m sick. I’m tired. but I also wanted to spend some quiet time with the Lord. Glad you were able to join me. 🙂