Jarrod Jacobs: “Israel’s Return Home”
Ezra 1:2-11 records Cyrus’ edict that allowed the people to return to the land of Israel. He knew their purpose was to build a Temple in Jerusalem (v. 3). He encouraged people to give the travelers gold, silver, animals, and other things needed for the journey (v. 4, 6). They were even given the vessels necessary for worship that had been stolen by Nebuchadnezzar so long ago (v. 8-11). They were given everything essential for the trip and worshipping God in Jerusalem.
Through the Bible, we see that God enjoys telling the same story. Perhaps it is because God sees that, like children, if He keeps telling the same story, we will learn it. While not every account will match line by line, there is enough similarity to see how they “rhyme” (for lack of a better word). For example, the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22) “rhymes” with the sacrifice of Christ. It does not match every detail, but it fits in enough places to see the “pattern” shine through. It is a similar idea when we compare the life of Joseph to the life of Daniel and then to the life of Christ. Jesus said that Jonah’s time in the whale’s belly compared to His burial and resurrection (Matt. 12:40).
In Ezra one, the event we read about here is like a “bookend” to an event that occurred centuries earlier. If you have not seen it, please go back to Exodus 3:12, 18, 20-22, 5:1, and 12:31-36. God delivered the people from Egypt, allowing them to leave and worship Him and finally journey to the Promised Land, where the Temple was built. The Egyptians gave them gold, silver, clothing, and other things needed for their trip. These items would also be used to construct the Tabernacle and its furniture!
Comparing Exodus 12 with Ezra 1 is an enlightening study! As with other examples, they will not match “line by line,” but enough is going on that you can see how Exodus 12 and Ezra 1 are similar in their accounts.
•God’s people are allowed to leave a foreign nation.
•God’s people are allowed to enjoy freedom.
•God’s people are supplied by foreigners for their journey.
•God’s people are allowed to worship Him.
Yes, God loves repeating themes/events. He loves not only repeating this in a physical sense but also in the spiritual plane. You see, becoming a Christian (Acts 2:38) matches or “rhymes” with what we read in Exodus 12 and Ezra 1. Those who become Christians will go through similar things.
•They must leave a “foreign nation” - the kingdom of Satan (Col. 1:13).
•They now enjoy freedom in Christ (Gal. 5:1; Rom. 6:16-18).
•They can now worship “in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24; Acts 2:42).
•They are journeying toward their “promised land,” Heaven (Rom. 13:11; I Thess. 4:13-18).
God is a God of patterns. He loves to teach us in this way. Therefore, I ask you to please look at God’s patterns. They teach us the truth! Have you “obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching which was delivered you” (Rom. 6:17)? If not, why not? Obey God’s pattern and be His child (Mk. 16:16). Be free from the shackles of sin, and journey toward your home awaiting you in Heaven (Jn. 14:1-3)!
-- You are invited to visit the Caneyville church of Christ. Times of services: Sun.: 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 5:00 pm; Wed.: 7:00 pm. Website: http://caneyvillechurchofchrist.com Tune in to our radio program 101.5 FM at 5:30 am, Mon-Fri. Questions? Call: (270) 589-4167