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April 29, 2017

Sixty years have passed, and another Persian king named Artaxerxes graciously authorized Ezra who was known as a priest, scribe, and scholar to escort a contingent of 17,000 willing, likeminded, exiled Jews to Jerusalem. Also, the decree given to Ezra revealed monies from the king’s treasury was given to him for the maintenance of worship, he had the ability to receive monies from other Persian officials along their travel route, he was given the power to establish a judicial system with judges and magistrates, tax exemption for the priest, Levites and temple helpers was to be given, and punishment was to be administered to those that opposed the king’s decree and disobeyed the laws of God. In closing the decree, Artaxerxes like his predecessors acknowledged his respect for the God of the Jews and his need for God’s benevolence.

After journeying from Babylon for approximately five months the group arrives safely in Jerusalem, and Ezra proclaims “Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem: And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me” (Ezra 7:27-28).

The gleaning points that I received from this chapter are:

  1. It may take years for the plan of God to be fulfilled.
  2. An excellent pattern to follow is found in Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” Ezra prepared himself for the task of instructing, reforming and edifying others before his departure. Thus, he learned the law, he practiced it, and then he taught it.
  3. In the book of Ezra the Jews, Zerubbabel, and Ezra were shown favor blessings and opportunities by King Cyrus, King Darius and King Artaxerxes and these kings caused others to respond positively to the work of the Lord. Hence, favor, blessings, and opportunities are yours when the hand of the Lord is upon you.
  4. ALWAYS acknowledge what God does in your life.



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