Leslie M. John

”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

In 1st chapter of the Book of Ezra, Cyrus, king of Persia, inspired by the LORD, issues a decree, so that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah should be fulfilled, that the temple at Jerusalem, which was in Judah, should be built (cf. Jeremiah 25:12-14; 29:10; 33:7-13; Daniel 9:1-27; Isaiah 44:28; Esther 1:1-3)

The first temple was built by King Solomon and it was a magnificent building with pure gold on the inside of the walls. David, his father had given him much gold, and other vessels to be used in building the temple.

It was because of Solomon’s disobedience that God handed over kingdom of Judah, Jerusalem and the temple at Jerusalem into the hands of his adversaries. First, the king of Egypt looted the property from Solomon’s Temple, and later Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed the temple.

The children of Israel from the southern part of Israel, which was called the ”House of Judah”, were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and they had completed seventy years of captivity in Babylon, when Cyrus made the decree.

God stirred the mind of Cyrus, king of Persia, In order to keep His covenant with David. Cyrus, king of Persia does not belong to the clan of the children of Israel, yet God used Him to fulfill divine plans. Successors of Cyrus were also not of the genealogy of the children of Israel, yet God used them to fulfill His wishes

The rebuilding of the temple began, but soon it stopped for sixteen years, because of the tough opposition, and harassment from adversaries. The adversaries wanted to help those who were building the temple already; but Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, sensed conspiracy and did not allow them to participate in the construction of the Temple. Later, under the decree of Darius rebuilding the temple resumed and the building of the temple was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was the sixth year of the reign of Darius, the king.

When we consider the way God helped His people and the restoration of Jerusalem, it is so amazing that God stirred up those who were outside the clan of Israel to help Israel. Who can be against us if God is with us?

Apostle Paul calls us, the New Testament believers, as more than conquerors through Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us. God, who did not spare His own Son, delivered Him to be bruised on the cross, on behalf of us, is with us. We have salvation through Jesus alone, and the penitent will receive salvation by Grace through faith in Him.

Just as God took care of the children of Israel, and stirred up the minds of those, who do not belong to His people, the Lord, will take care of us and fight for us when we are in need. The Lord will help us overcome the powers of devil, and adversaries. He stirs up the minds of those who work against us to work in favor of us.

”…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (cf. Romans 8:38, 39)