Ezra 1:5-6 and Exodus Once Again

ezra_nehemiah3The Book of Ezra picks up the story of the Jewish people at the end of the Exile, and we see them preparing for an exodus once again. This time it is from Babylon and Persia to return to the Promised Land. They are not going to enter as conquerors this time, but as subjects of a foreign empire. Nevertheless, their deliverance  back home is divinely inspired and orchestrated. Here is an interesting portion of the return story:

Then the heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred up—got ready to go up and build God’s house in Jerusalem.  All their neighbors assisted them with silver equipment, with gold, with goods, livestock, and valuable gifts, in addition to all that was freely offered.

Just like when the Israelites plundered the Egyptians as they left under the leadership of Moses, so now the people living around those returning to the Promised Land are given monetary gifts, equipment, and livestock. When God works something out, he usually prompts people to give to that cause. This is because it is all the Lord’s wealth and he has entrusted it to us. When we follow his leading and do his will, he will provide us the wealth to accomplish the task.

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