Ezra 1 Commentary
The Book of Ezra appears to continue the storyline of the Book of Chronicles. 70 years have passed. God’s faithful servants have been watching the clock. The LORD had promised to restore the kingdom back to Israel after 70 years. Cyrus, the king of Persia, is the tool in God’s hand to make this promise become a reality.
Verse 1 is very important. The return to Jerusalem is by the order of the higher power. King Cyrus is simply a human tool. He may not even know too much about it, or he may even have his own political reasons but the everlasting arm of the LORD is behind this call.
It would probably be important to take a look at what the LORD had said about the 70 years of captivity in Jeremiah 25 verses 9 to 29. Yes, there will be a return to Jerusalem, but nothing close to the grand exit in the manner of the great exodus. Everything is different. The nation of Israel would never be the same again. The era of kings is truly well over.
What has happened to the LORD’s promise of an everlasting dynasty for David? Well, disobedience has happened. The promise was hinged on obedience. It has always been that way.
“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Second Samuel 7 verses 12 to 15.
We can see that David’s son has suffered the floggings inflicted by human hands.
The saint can see more. David’s son has sinned. This time it was the Romans and the Jewish authorities; not the Babylonians. He must be punished. His sin is great because it’s the sin of the entire humanity.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Who wouldn’t see the love of God in all of this? The man Jesus Christ is this son who is punished on the sinner’s behalf. Cyrus’ call, therefore, becomes a call to reflect on what the Son achieved for you and me.
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