Daily Scripture & Questions

Ezra 1-3 Ezra recounts the return from the exile. Cyrus takes charge as king in 539 BC and issues his decree for the people to return in 538 BC. The altar was immediately set up on the foundation of the new temple that was laid in Jerusalem a year later. Opposition prevents completing the temple until 515 BC. About 70 years later, Nehemiah would lead the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem. What can we tell about the motivations of those returning from 1:62-63 and 3:2-7?

Family Devotions-Scripture & Questions

Read Ezra 3:8-13. After Cyrus, king of Persia, lets the people return to their homeland, the Israelites begin to offer sacrifices and start rebuilding the temple. Why do you think that some of the people were shouting with joy while some of the old men were weeping (3:11-12)? Would you have been brave enough to be one of the people who returned to the promised land?

Biblical Prayer Focus

Psalm 69:13-18 “But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. Hide not your face from your servant; for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies!”

Pray for those who are in distress and feel like they are “going under.” Ask the Lord to give them encouragement and to minister to their needs in just the right way and at just the right time.