Read Ezra 1-3
When God Works, His People Get Emotional
How incredible is the foreknowledge of the Almighty? He inspired His prophets to speak of the events that are recorded in the book of Ezra. Through Jeremiah, the Lord said, “After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10). He uses Isaiah to identify the Persian king Cyrus through whom He would accomplish His will (Isaiah 44:28). Isaiah prophesied more than 150 years before the birth of Cyrus! How could he possibly have known his name, except by the divine foreknowledge of God?
It was in Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia that “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus” (Ezra 1:1) to proclaim that the Israelites should return to their homeland and “build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:3).
The second chapter lists “the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city” (Ezra 2:1). Among them were Jeshua and Zerubbabel, who worked together to restore the worship of the Lord in Jerusalem.
The third chapter of Ezra details what these two men accomplished: they built the altar of God to offer burnt offerings upon it, as commanded in the Law of Moses. They kept the Feast of the Tabernacles, offering daily burnt offerings in accordance with what was revealed. They offered regular burnt offerings during the New Moons and all consecrated feasts, and several offered freewill offerings to the Lord. All of this was accomplished “though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries” (Ezra 3:3).
The third chapter ends with the laying of the foundation of the temple. The occasion was marked with the priests and Levites with their trumpets and cymbals, and much weeping and shouting for joy by the people. They were overwhelmed with emotion at the work of the Lord.
When is the last time you were overwhelmed with emotion because of what God is doing through His church today?