A Passover Observed

Read: Ezra 6:13-22

And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful. (v. 22)

Seventy years after Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, the new temple (called “Zerubbabel’s temple” by historians) was finished. It had taken 21 years from the laying of the foundation to the dedication ceremony described in Ezra 6. It was a long construction, filled with peril, frustration, and discouragement, but it was finally completed!

And now it was time for joy! The temple was the very heart of Jewish life and faith, and for too long its sacrifices had ceased to be offered. The Jews gathered to dedicate their new “house of God” with sacrifices and sin offerings for each tribe of Israel. This was followed by the observance of the Passover, which marked Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and their identification as God’s people. The word repeated three times in this passage is joy! God had answered many prayers to bring them to this point.

There was still much work to be done in their hearts and lives, as well as in their city. But God was bringing two men—Ezra and Nehemiah—to carry on the work. While we can sometimes be discouraged by the road ahead, it’s good to stop and consider what God has done in our lives to get us where we are right now. We can be confident that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, rejoice in the good work God is doing in you

About the Author

Laura Sweet

Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.

This entry is part 6 of 16 in the series Faithful among the Ruins