Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. Ezra 1:5
The prophets had it right. The people of God would not been in exile forever. The time had come for them to go home and rebuild Jerusalem. Cyrus of Persia had conquered their captors and was letting them leave at long last. So, what can we, thousands of years later learn from this?
Pateince- and waiting on the Lord for His timing. We do not know how long he had stirred the thought of rebuilding Jerusalem in the hearts of those who were faithful. We know when the Hebrews went into exile, God had sent His prophets to tell them it was not a permanent thing. In the midst of tragedy, even from things we bring on ourselves through poor choices, God is there to assure us it will not be permanent. In Him there is always hope. He is the God who restores. The God who forgives the contrite heart and saves the sinner who confesses and turns back to Him.
Patience. Waiting upon the Lord for the right time and the right tools to rebuild. Psalm 37:34 says this –
Wait for the Lord and keep his way,and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
Those wise words were written hundreds of years before the exile, yet they rang true in the book of Ezra. And the people who had God’s spirit in them knew it. They had witnessed it.
The words are truth for us today. When we are in a tough spot, there are two things God wants us to do- 1) Keep His ways- trust in Him and be fatihful 2) Wait patiently. Not easy at times to do either, but it worked for the Hebrews. It can and will for us as well. When the time is right, you will be delivered out of the bad situation- until then God will protect you and begin to prepare you for what happens next. And He will give you the tools to rebuild whatever your Jerusalem is – incomes, relationships, families, whatever. In other words, in the midst of it all, God will never forsake you. When He helps you rebuild, there will be a place for Him to dwell – in your thankful heart.