“And they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had caused them to rejoice, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to encourage them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.” - Ezra 6:22
Originally the Hebrew books of Ezra and Nehemiah were always presented together. In many ways, they are two sides of the same coin. God gives us both worship and work to do.
Ezra was a priest and teacher who saw God move in miraculous ways. Three generations earlier, the temple had been destroyed, Jerusalem sacked, and the people enslaved. With the decree from King Darius of Babylon, the children of Israel were sent home and allowed to rebuild the temple. “…'Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the temple, the place where sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt …And let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. Also, let the gold and silver utensils of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be returned and brought to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; and you shall put them in the house of God” (Ezra 6:3-5).
God had provided not only the restoration, but He had impressed on the heart of the foreign king to also provide the means for the restoration of the House of the Lord. Ezra was commissioned to teach the law, call the people to complete obedience, and reinstitute the sacrificial worship of God in the temple. Ezra had to train and raise up a new generation of priests and temple servants to serve in the temple for generations to come.
First Baptist Dallas is on mission to transform our world with God’s Word…one life at a time. Learn more about how you can give to the work of the Lord through First Baptist Dallas here.