EZRA 1:7-11: “Cyrus the king also brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8) Cyrus king of Persia brought these out in the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9) And this was the number of them: 30 basins of gold, 1,000 basins of silver, 29 censers, 10) 30 bowls of gold, 410 bowls of silver, and 1,000 other vessels; 11) all the vessels of gold and of silver were 5,400. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.”
OBSERVATION: Is it too late for me? Have I failed so many times that God cannot use me or restore me? I have felt this way many times, and I have spoken with numerous saints of God who have struggled with the same thoughts. We have an enemy of our souls who just loves to pile it on when we start to feel like this. He will not only agree with our assumption, he will be there to remind us of every weakness and every sin we have ever done. Is this our reality?
The opening book of Ezra is a wonderful affirmation of the wonderful truth – GOD RESTORES! Both the Nation of Israel and Judah had been taken into captivity. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had decimated the Temple just 70 years earlier. He had taken all the precious treasures and vessels of the House of the Lord and carried them away into captivity. They were stored in Babylon. They were virtually forgotten through changes in the ruling king, and changes in the ruling Kingdom (Babylon and Persia). Then, sovereignly, and miraculously, God raises up Cyrus King of Persia. He does something unexpected, unheard of for a Gentile King – he proclaims that the living God has called him to build the House of the Lord again in Jerusalem. The first principle of restoration is this – Restoration is a Sovereign Work of God! It goes beyond our expectations and our abilities.
Then something wonderful unfolds. All the treasures, all the vessels of the House of the Lord that were supposedly lost – are not lost at all. God has preserved them – “…for such a time as this!” They have been in waiting. God has not forgotten them. He has watched over them. And at His appointed time – He brings restoration in abundance. He miraculously provides from resources that were thought to be lost, riches that were thought to not exist. How wonderful and marvelous are the ways of the Lord!
What does this have to do with my life? God does exactly the same with you and I. What the enemy has meant for evil, what sin has ravaged, what our failures have seemed to wash away – God in HIs infinite mercy and grace restores through the abundant Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is not automatic. It is the work of the Sovereign God in response to the truly repentant heart. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in response to the truly hungry heart. 70 years of captivity had cured Judah of their idolatry. They had been crying out to the Lord in true repentance. And just like God delivered Israel from the oppression of the Egyptians when He hear their cry – He would deliver His children once again! He did this in a most unusual way – by using a pagan king to bring about their restoration! How wonderful and marvelous are the ways of the Lord!
This brings me to a place of humility. This brings me to a place of awe. This brings me to a place of true repentance. This brings me to proclaim the promise of God’s restoration over my life and over every life that sincerely and humbly calls upon the Name of the Lord!
“Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:23-27 ESV)
Make it so Lord. In Jesus Name!