Ezra 1-3

Summary

Ezra chapter 1, The proclamation of Cyrus for the building of the temple. The people provide for their return. Cyrus restores the vessels of the temple to Sheshbazzar.

Ezra chapter 2, The number that return of the people; of the priests; of the Levites; of the Nethinims; of Solomon’s servants; of the priests who could not shew their pedigree. The whole number of them, with their substance. Their oblations.

Ezra chapter 3, The altar is set up. Offerings renewed. Workmen employed in preparing materials. The foundations of the temple are laid in great joy and mourning.

“The heart of the King is in the hand of the LORD… He turns whenever He wishes” (Prov. 21:1). Just as God used Cyrus to fulfill prophecy, God completes His will in our lives by the things our rulers decide to do. Lord, I will trust You to complete Your will in my life by the things my rulers do. Therefore, I will submit to their leadership (Rom. 13:1) and pray for them (1 Tim. 2:1, 2). Amen.

Insights and Prayers

  • These returnees didn’t seek money from the nations around them. Those who were most involved gave the most money. That means we should support with our money the projects that are closest to our heart.
  • Lord, I will give to my church and the projects You put upon my heart. I will give willingly and pray for these projects. Amen.
  • It’s good to go back to where God revealed Himself to us in the past.
  • The Jews rebuilt the altar on its original site. They didn’t try to find a better place, or a new place, or a more convenient place.
  • When we lose God, we usually search for Him with a new method, or a new organization, or in a new place. But when we lose God, He’s usually right where we originally found Him. He may be waiting for you at the place you ran off and left Him.
  • Lord, I will go back to the church, Your body, to find You. I will do again those things I did when I first found You. I will turn my heart to the attitude I had when You first spoke to me. Here I come, Lord, I’m coming back. Amen.
  • When touched with sadness, I will weep. Lord, sometimes You make me shout, so I laugh to You. Sometimes I’m disappointed in what’s happening around me. Thank You for allowing me to weep. Lord, You allow me to pray. Thank You that I don’t have a sterile, dead religion, but have a vibrant relationship with You. Amen.
  • The Lord is my foundation. His is the immovable base on which I rest and is the surety that I will stand. He is not good to me only some of the time, He is good to me all of the time. His love for me endures forever. I will praise Him with great shouts of joy all the days of my life.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible