The Persian king Cyrus was a shrewd politician. He knew his Babylonian predecessors had displaced untold numbers of people. He could keep them displaced, and unhappy, or he could win their abiding allegiance by allowing them to go home.
He chose the latter.
And if one god was good, hundreds would be better.
So he decreed that all captives might return to their homeland and rebuild their temples. God’s temple was among them.
God had not failed to prosper Judah during her captivity. Some of her number had found a home in Babylon, but they had an allegiance to their homeland. Some returned. Some supported those who did. All contributed to the cause of rebuilding the temple. The amount of their contributions is staggering: 1100 pounds of gold and three tons of silver – over thirty million dollars in today’s valuation.
It was a great beginning, but it was not to last.
That’s the way it is with us all most of the time. Great ideas generate great excitement, but someone has to carry them out, and that’s where things usually fall apart. Faithfulness to God is not found just in a moment, but in the day to day, mundane, often difficult, routine of life.