Once King Cyrus (of Persia) had given the Jews their “release” from the 70 years of captivity (foretold by Jeremiah the Prophet) … he further made possible their trip back home by helping finance such a difficult endeavor!
Yes, the King ordered his citizenry to help the Jews: “Let the (Persian) men of his (any Jew’s) place (neighborhood) HELP HIM (the Jew who was leaving Persia) with SILVER, and with GOLD, and with GOODS, and with BEASTS.” Ezra 1:4
Did they obey?
“Then 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. And all they that were about them (those neighbors) STRENGTHENED THEIR HANDS with vessels of SILVER, with GOLD, with GOODS, and with BEASTS, and with PRECIOUS THINGS, beside all that was willingly offered.” Ezra 1:5-6
The Jews would now be leaving Babylon well-supplied!
Via the goodness of a heathen king!
Volunteer gifts galore!
An old Preacher used to often say: “Where God GUIDES, He PROVIDES!”
Paul the Apostle agreed: “But my God SHALL SUPPLY all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Now … let your mind wonder back through Scripture to the Exodus, when the Israelites were leaving Egypt.
Here’s Moses record of that former event: “And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they BORROWED of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they LENT unto them such things as they required. And they SPOILED the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:35-36, provision then too!
But … see the difference?
In the original exodus the Jews “asked” for goods!
In the Ezra exodus … God “freely provided” them goods!
Here then one historical account (Ezra’s) corresponds to the other (Moses’s) … but becomes better and sweeter and less adamant!
(Often with the Lord things get “better and better and better” with the passing of time. Jesus usually saves “the best wine until last!” As in Jesus’ first miracle: “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” John 2:10)
Note: several incidents in the Ezra-Nehemiah memoirs match (are parallel) to the Exodus story as written by Moses! Almost as if God viewed the “home-going” from Babylon/Persia as a second exodus! As a similar event as the “home-going” from Egypt!
Either way … GOD TAKES CARE OF HIS OWN!
Can any faithful Christian reading here today remember a time God provided (unusually so) for YOU in a particular situation?
I sure can!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Psalm 34:10 … “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” Amen!