“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:2-3)
The children of Israel had been in captivity 70 years. (Jeremiah 25:11, 12, 29:10) God had told them, after 70 years they would be able to return to Jerusalem. Only about 50,000 went.
Many had assimilated into Babylonian culture. They enjoyed their wealth, homes, and friends. They forgot about their homes in Israel. They left the Lord.
Returning to Jerusalem would not be an easy task. Remember, the temple is gone, burned to the ground. There were enemies to deal with. The current inhabitants of the land were not eager for their return.
They went. The King supplied them, gave them letters of passage, and a mission to build the House of God.
When God wants us to go on a mission for Him, are we willing? Are we willing to give up the things of this world, to serve Christ?
Pray and ask God how you can be part of His plan to reach this world for Christ. Blessings come when we willingly surrender to Him.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001