Ezra 2 is a list of people who chose freedom and had that fire of desire to worship their God in His temple. They get back to their own land, each one to their own towns.
They are restored of their wealth and many of the riches that were stolen from the temple of God.
By the end of chapter 2, they arrive and settle in their towns.
And they wait!!!
They wait for 2 years and 2 months!
These are the people who traveled all the way back to their hometown to rebuild the temple of God and for 2 years, NOTHING?
No, that is where we differ from them.
Every time we receive a promise from the Lord, we get so excited and spend the next few days or maybe weeks, praying fervently for its fulfillment and preparing ourselves mentally and spiritually for the time it will come to pass. But as days progress and nothing seems to be happen, we lose our hope, we lose our energy to look forward and start to put the promise away, into the darkest corner of our heart where light might never reach. When reminded of those promises, we tend to think “Ah, if God wants to do it, let Him do it. What am I supposed to do?”
It is true you need not help God to bring the promise to fulfillment but there is something He expects you to do: WAIT EXPECTANTLY
Psalms 42:11 (AMP)
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
Why have you become restless and disquieted within me?
Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
Now, that is something we are not so keen on doing. We wait with hope buried 12 miles under the soil. We don’t wait EXPECTANTLY!!
When God has promised you something, wait with the hope and expectation that it is coming to a fulfillment soon. No, it is not easy when you are promised heavy rain and you don’t even see a single dark cloud in sight, but that is what FAITH is.
Waiting period is always tough. Not knowing whether to pursue something or to let it go isn’t exactly a lullaby. But trusting the one who started the work will take away all the anxiety and fear.
Waiting is a period when God works through us and in us.
So, what did Israelites do while they waited?
They planned and they prepared.
Prepared? They prepared themselves through burnt offerings.
A burnt offering is a symbol of:
- Atonement of sins
- Commitment to God
Long before the foundation of the temple was actually laid, they started a tradition of offering burnt sacrifices daily. (Ezra 3:2). They bought worship back into their nation, into their community. They repented of their wrong doings and made things right with God.
Planning? Ezra 3:7
Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.
They planned for the task ahead of them. They ordered raw materials for the rebuilding of temple.
In short, they did not allow the waiting period to be futile. They allowed God to work in and through them.
By the end of Chapter 3, the foundation of the temple is laid and there is a mixture of cries and praises rising from the crowd.