Ezra 1:1-6 NIV
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “ ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’ ” Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. All their neighbours assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
Time has passed. Seventy years of exile are to end. The people of Judah are to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. They are to go with the King's blessing. They are to go with riches and livestock and valuables, and more. Seventy years is a long time. Yet, the exile is over. They have not been abandoned by God. What do we take away from this? How much does this help us in the tougher times? Tougher times come to a close. God never abandons us. He is with us. God is with us. Emmauel.
Lord God Almighty, may we never forget your love for us. In Jesus's name. Amen.