1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord from the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also in writing, saying:
2 “Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Let any of those among you who are of his people—may their God be with them!—go up to Jerusalem in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let all survivors in whatever place they reside be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods, and with livestock, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.”
5 Then the heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred—got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with livestock, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered. 7 King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8 King Cyrus of Persia had them released into the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 And this was the inventory: gold basins, thirty; silver basins, one thousand; knives,[a] twenty-nine; 10 gold bowls, thirty; other silver bowls, four hundred ten; other vessels, one thousand; 11 the total of the gold and silver vessels was five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar brought up when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem
After the days of perdition, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah, the time came for the people of God to rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. King Cyrus had the people return what had been pilfered from God. It might not have erased all the hurt, but this journey helped to restore the faith and the future of God’s people.
A not-so-spiritual song writer once said, “If it takes all the future, we’ll live through the past.” Some events bring a sense of healing.
God of all times and places, remind me of your hold of the future. Help me not to be so bogged down in the present, that I can hope for and anticipate what you still have in store for me. And help me to give you the thanks and praise when that time comes. Amen.