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December 22

Esther 9:17-32, Ezra 1; Revelation 14:1-13

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

[Ezra 1] The Book of Ezra contains an account of a most important epoch in the history of the people of God. After seventy years of captivity, a return from captivity was made possible by the decree of a Gentile king. This Book gives us the story of that return, and the building of the Temple. It is not consecutive history, for while, with the Book of Nehemiah, it covers a period of about one hundred years, there is a gap of sixty years. There are two main divisions, first, the story of the return under Zerubbabel and the building of the Temple, and then, after sixty years, the story of the coming of Ezra and the work he undertook.

God may seem to tarry in carrying out His purposes. He never abandons them. Indeed, there is a very true sense in which He never tarries even for a moment in carrying them out. The wreck of the chosen nation we have seen in previous books. The people had become scattered and peeled, having lost national position and power, and, to a very large extent, national consciousness. Notwithstanding all this, God still moved on toward His great ultimate purpose of redemption, not merely for these people, but for the world. During the seventy years, through the processes of suffering, He prepared a remnant to return and rebuild and hold the fort until He, the true Seed and Servant, should come.

G. Campbell Morgan, An Exposition of the Whole Bible (Westwood, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1959), p. 185.

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