Last week we told the story of Ezra. It is hard for us to imagine how profound this story is because we have not experienced anything like it ourselves. Imagine your kingdom and lives changed with Babylon destroying Jerusalem and the temple. Then imagine living in Babylon and not having it too bad. Sure, you might have some things to accommodate in the Babylonian society, but if you do, life is not too shabby, some might even thrive.
Now imagine after seventy years, a new kingdom, due north named Persia, rises up and destroys your original captors kingdom. Now you are in the second kingdom, twice removed from the Holy Land, and even further away physically and geographically from Israel. Imagine how broken-hearted you would likely be. You have come to know your original captor and began fitting in to their society. Now you are captive again of a new foreign power even further from your homeland. This would be pretty heart breaking. Your idea and desire for a return home would seem even further from happening.
Then God comes through. He stirs in the heart of Cyrus to return God’s people back to their land. Not only to allow them to return, but to bankroll the move and support it. This is the story of Ezra in a nutshell. God is faithful and comes through. God sustains and empowers and keeps His own. God is faithful, just, and true.
This is the model for us to follow. As believers, can we be faithful to God and the truth? Can we be just to our fellow man, and true to the mission of Jesus to spread the word about Him far and wide? This is the challenge to each of us. God upholds his end, will we uphold ours?