As a direct descendant of Aaron, the chief priest during the time of Moses, Ezra was a Jewish priest. Even though the people had lost their nation and were in exile, they had hoped and prayed all of seventy years for their nation to be restored. Now their dreams and longings were answered. The Babylonian Empire that had conquered the people of Judah had themselves been conquered by the Persians. In our verses for today, Cyrus the king of Persia had been moved by the LORD to allow the Jews to go back to their homeland, to rebuild their Temple, and to worship the LORD their God.
God sometimes uses humans to accomplish his plans. He acts in miraculous ways if necessary; nothing can thwart his will. Most of all, God answers the prayers and longings of His people. So, keep on praying until light breaks through. It may be tomorrow, or it may take seventy years, but the LORD ALWAYS comes through!
“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing. This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.”