King of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem
Ezra and Nehemiah covers the history of Israel under Persian rule from the first year of the reign of Cyrus to the thirty second year of king Artaxerxes. This era is also covered by Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and Esther.
The book of Ezra describes how the king of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem during the time of their exile. Two important projects were taken up under the leadership of Ezra:1️
1️⃣ Rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 1 – 6)
2️⃣ Institution of Religious Reforms (Ezra 7 – 10)
📕 Ezra 2:68 – 69 “When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave FREEWILL OFFERINGS toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site “.
” According to their ABILITY they gave to the treasury for this work.. “
THE JOY OF GIVING
The text states that some of the heads of the families gave very generous gifts for the work of the Lord (v 68,69). Perhaps they remembered that during the exodus their ancestors had given generously to ensure that the tabernacle and its furnishings could be made (Exodus 25:1-7)
We can draw some basic points on GIVING :
📌 They gave FREELY.
📌 They gave JOYFULLY.
📌 They gave REVERENTLY.
📌 They gave according to their ABILITY.
Their gifts suggests the people’s JOY on returning to Jerusalem and their EAGERNESS to rebuild the temple 🙌
Let us ponder upon some of the scriptures on the mode of Giving:
A) Setting up the Tabernacle
📝 “… everyone who was WILLING and whose HEART MOVED him came and brought an offering.. ” (Exodus 35:21-28)
📝 “.. All the Israelites men and women who were WILLING brought to the Lord FREEWILL OFFERINGS ” (Exo 35:29)
B) Repairing of the temple
📝 “All the officials and all the people brought their CONTRIBUTIONS GLADLY, dropping them into the chest until it was full. ” (2Chron 24:10)
📝 “… So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all whose hearts were WILLING brought burnt offerings ” (2Chron 29:31)
💞 Beloved Church, NT also promote the principle of Giving in proportion to our ability. Paul exhorts the Christians to give in proportion to their incomes (1Cor 16:2) ; give beyond their ability like the Macedonians (2Cor 8:3) and just as you excel in everything…. see that you also EXCEL IN this grace of GIVING ” (2Cor 8:7).
📌 When we owned God’s ministry there is always a Joy of Giving , Serving and Witnessing.
🛐 May the Lord bless us and mould us to give him our Time, Talents and Treasures:
IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE (Acts 20:35)
Glory to God 🙏
✍🏻 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India 🇮🇳