READ : Ezra 1-4
The first verses in Ezra are the same as the last verses in 2 Chronicles, making it clear that this is a continuation of the story. Ezra tells us of the return of the Jews from exile to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. The church needs constantly to be rebuilt, to be reformed anew according to the Word of God, so there are lessons to be learned here.
Renewal requires dedicated people. Many Jews had prospered in Babylon and had no interest in returning, but there were those “whose spirit God had stirred to go to rebuild” (1:5). May God fill us with the desire to see the church revived.
Renewal required funds. Some not interested in going back were willing to give (1:6) and those who did return “made freewill offerings . . . according to their ability” (1:68,69). Renewal involves missionary activity and this requires finances which we are to provide as God has blessed us.
Renewal required leadership. The first exiles were led back by Jeshua the priest and Zerubbabel the governor. May God raise dedicated persons to lead the church in spiritual revival today.
Renewal faces discouragements. The Great Reformation under Luther and Calvin faced many difficulties, as did the people who returned from exile. We can expect the same.
PRAYERFather, we pray for a great revival of biblical faith in our day. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.