“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 1:3.
Chronicles ends in captivity with a promise of Israel’s future hope. Ezra takes us from captivity to hope realized. Is there a message of hope for those still in captivity?
Who of all his people then?
Who would take up the challenge put forth in Ezra 1:3? After seventy years of acclamation to Babylon, would any of the Jews respond?
“The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore.” And this didn’t include the over seven thousand servants, maids, and singers. An impressive number until you realize there were probably more than two million Jews in Babylon.
Who are His people now?
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Gal. 6:10.
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly;neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly;
and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter;
whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28,29.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation,
a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
which in time past were not a people but are now the people of God:
which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1Peter 2:9,10.
Cyrus was charged by the Lord to build him a house:
“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 an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”Ezra 1:2
Our Charge to Build with Him a House:
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God…Eph. 2:19.
Before a House comes a Foundation:
“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”Ezra 3:11
…And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” Eph. 2:20.
The Finished Work:
“And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel…” Ezra 6:14.
Our Finished Work:
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,
It is finished:
and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30.
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Eph. 2:19-22.
Dedicating the House of God:
“And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.” Ezra 6:16.
Dedicating Our House:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Rom. 12:1,2.
“Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:
and the God of peace shall be with you.” Phil. 4:9.
How is your house coming along? Is it in of disrepair or is it becoming new and beautiful?
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2Cor. 5:17.
“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” 1Chron. 16:29.