READING: Ezra 1-3, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23
“The Lord roused the spirit of King Cyrus.”
Seventy years of exile were up. God had given His word that His people would return, and the time had come. God moved on the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia – that is, “the Lord roused the spirit of King Cyrus to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom” (Ezra 1:1) – and Cyrus put in motion the plans for the Hebrews to return and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. He even required their neighbors to provide resources for the work.
Meanwhile, God also moved on the hearts of the heads of households of Benjamin and Judah to prepare to go to Jerusalem and start the process; indeed, the text says that these leaders were “everyone whose spirit God had roused” (Ezra 1:5). So, God was accomplishing His plan by moving the hearts of a foreign king and His own people. Even though some scholars argue that Cyrus was simply placating his subjects by allowing them to return and build a temple, the Bible notes that this act was in God’s timing and according to God’s prophecy. God was moving history by moving hearts.
In the chaos of the world today, it’s good to know that God is somehow still in control. He will accomplish His plans in His time and in His way.
- Consider a time when God “roused” your heart to do something. Thank Him for communicating with us as He does.
- Perhaps God has “roused” your heart to do something today, and you have thus far said, “No.” Decide today to do whatever He asks.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You for Your power, majesty, and sovereignty.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezra 4-6