In my Bible study, I am looking at the lives of Ezra and Nehemiah. These were the two men who led the Jewish nation back to the Promised Land after the Babylonian captivity. They were both residents of Persian territory, and had to have the permission of the Persian rulers in order to return. In short, Ezra led some Israelites to rebuild the Temple, and then about twenty year later, Nehemiah led many more Jews to return and rebuild the walls.
What stands out to me is that the Persian Prelates gave the decree that any Jewish person who wanted to return would be able to do so. No one was forced to return. These immigrants returned to their homeland because they wanted to. There was no incentive for these returnees other than just to be in land that God had given them. Ezra 7:13 puts it this way: “Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill will go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.”
It is interesting to note that these people who returned became the official Jewish nation. This is the nation that resumed the Temple worship and to whom the Messiah came. In my study, I came to know that those of Jewish heritage that decided not to return to the home land were absorbed into the Persian nation.
Why is that significant to us?
Positioning is important. Where we stand, with whom we stand can have an impact on our destiny. Where do we want to go? With whom do we want to align ourselves? Where are we positioning ourselves?
Until next time,