December 7, Reading 1 – Ezra 1, 2

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Ezra recounts the return of some exiles to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. The focus in this list of returnees is on those who came to rebuild the Temple. They are mentioned by name! What God had promised through Jeremiah and Ezekiel came true!

SJA Notes

“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.”

Here we see God at work, the king’s heart a stream of water in His hand, turning it where He wants it.

A king, even a non-Israelite one like Cyrus, is directed by God to build a house in Jerusalem.

We have read of a similar direction to a king many generations before.

In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon the king details God’s words to his father David,

“Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.”

Just as with Cyrus, God called Solomon the king to build Him a house.

But these kings, and the houses they built, were temporary – bricks and mortar.

In Jesus, we have a king who has built a house (the temple of His body, John chapter 2) that is everlasting.

In Jesus, we are joined as living stones being built up as a spiritual house (1 Peter 2).

This passage reminds us that God continues to build His church through the ages – We are His house, little tabernacles where God dwells – Hallelujah!

* Holy God,

Thank You for building Your church through the ages.

Thank You that the rulers of this age are not outside You, their hearts are a stream of water in Your hand, that You direct as You will.

Thank You for saving us, rebirthing us, transforming us – That we have Your Spirit dwelling within us, writing Your word on our hearts.

Please teach us today what You want us to know.

Amen.

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