Sin Brings Judgement
Today's Scripture: Ezra 1
1Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
2Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
3Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.
4And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
5Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.
6And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.
7Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;
8Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.
9And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,
10Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.
11All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.
Today's Scripture Meaning:
The proclamation of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the temple. (1-4) The people provide for their return. (5-11)
Verses 1-4: The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus. The hearts of kings are in the hand of the Lord. God governs the world by his influence on the spirits of men; whatever good they do, God stirs up their spirits to do it. It was during the captivity of the Jews, that God principally employed them as the means of calling the attention of the heathen to him. Cyrus took it for granted, that those among the Jews who were able, would offer free-will offerings for the house of God. He would also have them supplied out of his kingdom. Well-wishers to the temple should be well-doers for it.
Verses 5-11: The same God that raised up the spirit of Cyrus to proclaim liberty to the Jews, raised up their spirits to take the benefit. The temptation was to some to stay in Babylon; but some feared not to return, and they were those whose spirits God raised, by his Spirit and grace. Whatever good we do, is owing to the grace of God. Our spirits naturally bow down to this earth and the things of it; if they move upward in any good affections or good actions, it is God who raises them. The calls and offers of the gospel are like the proclamation of Cyrus. Those bound under the power of sin, may be made free by Jesus Christ. Whosoever will, by repentance and faith, return to God, Jesus Christ has opened the way for him, and raises him out of the slavery of sin into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Many that hear this joyful sound, choose to sit still in Babylon, are in love with their sins, and will not venture upon a holy life; but some break through all discouragements, whatever it cost them; they are those whose spirit God has raised above the world and the flesh, whom he has made willing. Thus will the heavenly Canaan be filled, though many perish in Babylon; and the gospel offer will not have been made in vain. The bringing back the Jews from captivity, represents the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Ezra with Chapter 1 and we see the first group of exiles return to the land as King Cyrus releases the captive Jews after a 70 year exile led by the Babylonian Empire. What catches my eye is how judgement came upon God's people after their repeated disobedience. Just as the people of Moses in the wilderness it seems that the Lord allowed a generation to die off before delivering the Jewish nation. In making application we see the results of sin and judgment. Be not deceived, God is not mocked, and whatsoever a man soweth - that will he also reap. Today many mistake God's grace for apathy or weakness but the truth is that a Holy God will judge sin in His Timing. Judgement might come today, tomorrow, next week, next year, etc... but Judgement is coming so if you have been extended grace you must repent before it is everlasting too late. To some this might seem negative but only a loving God provides a way to be forgiven, a convicting Holy Spirit to warn, and a Bible full of examples of Judgement of a Holy God toward a sinful man. How about you? Do you see the results of sin ending in Judgement. Let us learn from the mistakes recorded of the Jewish nation in the Bible to remember that sin brings judgment