Ezra 1 – February 1

Welcome to our studies in Ezra and Nehemiah! These books will shine the light on God being in control of our world, moving us to do His work. Join our study by following along with the reading plan then reflecting and journaling on each day’s reading to humble yourself before Him and listen. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading followed by a SOAP journal note from one of our study leaders. If you’re wondering what SOAP is…it’s a method of Bible study that focuses on applying scripture to our every days. Read more about it on our website.

Ezra 1 – Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”
Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
This was the inventory:
gold dishes 30
silver dishes 1,000
silver pans 29
gold bowls 30
matching silver bowls 410
other articles 1,000
11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Get Out and Meet New People | Rebecca Hoyt

Scripture

Ezra 1:1

Observation

The book is named for its main character, Ezra, who played an instrumental role in leading God’s people back to Judea after their captivity in Babylon. My Bible notes Cyrus became king of Persia around 559 B.C. After defeating the city of Babylon, where deported Jews lived, he encouraged the Jewish exiles to return to their homeland. This event was prophesied over 200 years before by Isaiah and later by Jeremiah. Cyrus’ decree was not issued because of his personal commitments to God, but his reflection of his polytheism, which the Lord used to fulfill His purpose for His people. Cyrus was king at that time not by coincidence; God had orchestrated everything. Cyrus’ role in the book of Ezra is a testimony of the sovereignty of God, who delights in using pagan kings to accomplish His will.

Application

The journey back to Jerusalem could have taken up to 4 months, since Jerusalem was approximately 900 miles away. Scripture does not criticize the exiles who did not wish to return. A few years later, God used exiles like Mordecai and Esther, who remained in Babylon or Persia, to make His name known. It’s amazing who God will use to further His kingdom or help His people. I need to be on the look out for who God is using or who God puts in my path to use me. If I’m caught up in my own little world, I will miss the opportunities God puts out in front of me.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for another new day. Maybe a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. Please help me to get out and be aware of who You are crossing my path with so maybe our paths can meet for You. As Becky said, it does start at home teaching our families about You, but that doesn’t give us an excuse not to also get out and start new relationships in the hopes of leading another to You. You have been putting on my heart lately to get out of my house and join something  to meet new people; please show me where You want that to be.

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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Posted on February 1, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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