Ezra 1 is all about the way that God went ahead of His people and prepared all they would need to do His will. He wanted the temple in Jerusalem rebuilt. He spoke and put the world in place and He could have rebuilt the temple that way. What I see here is God’s plan for His people included their participation. The temple was His dwelling place with them on earth in the Old Testament. He had given them direction on how it was to be built down to the numbers of threads and tassels in the priest’s garments. In this return and rebuilding we get to see some of the background and prep work He did in allowing them the privilege to be a part of it all.
Verse 5 shows us God at work again as He moves in the hearts of the family heads of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites. Ok. I really need to stop and take a look at what this word moved was in the original text.
The word in the NAS version (easier for me to do word studies in) is stirred for moved in the NIV. The word in the Hebrew was ′uwr. This word is used for the following:
Arise, arouse, arouse or awaken, aroused, arouses, awake, awaken, awakened, awakens, awakes, exulted, lifted, raise, rouse, rouse yourself, roused, stir, stirred, stirs, swung
In our Ezra passages in verse 1 and verse 5 the word stirred is used for the work the Lord did in Cyrus’ heart and the hearts of the family heads and priests. What does this tells me about God? He interacts with people by stirring, arousing, awakening, lifting their hearts to do His will. This amazing God who could use any method to have His will carried out chooses to stir our hearts. He chooses to deal with our very core, where He resides when we allow Him to. He stirs us to want what He wants. He awakens us to His will.
Have you felt God stirring your heart lately? What is it you think He might be moving you to do? We know He has a good plan for our lives when we belong to Him. What might the next thing be He is stirring you to do as part of His will and plan for your life? I would love to hear about it. May God stir us all to be who He has planned as we grow in knowing Him through this study of His Word in Ezra. God Bless you and yours!