Ezra 1&2 Part 2

I love history.  I love research, obscure facts,and word studies.  It is important to pay attention to repeated words or phrases, as we look at a passage of Scripture.  I noticed, in the reading that we are looking at again today that the phrase, “the Lord moved the heart of” or “the Lord stirred up the spirit of” is used twice.  Once about King Cyrus (verse 1) and once about the people returning to Jerusalem (verse 2).

What does “moved or stirred” mean?  In the Hebrew it means “to be aroused, stirred up or awakened.”  Interesting.

The Lord “stirred” upon a pagan king to fulfill His word, written over 210 years previous.  Jewish historian Josephus, tells us that Daniel shared with King Cyrus the prophecy that was spoken of him by name, found in the book of Isaiah.  Josephus says that, “he (Cyrus) marveled at the divine power and desired to fulfill what was written.”  The Lord “stirred” him up.

What have I come to understand about this?  The Word of the Lord will be accomplished regardless of who is in power. 

Psalm 147:15 tells us that the Lord’s Word is swift. 

Zechariah 1:6  tell us that the Lord’s Words and decrees will overtake me.

Isaiah 55:11 says, ” the word that goes out from the Lord’s mouth: will not return to Him empty, but it will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He has sent it.” 

2 Samuel 22:31  Reminds us that the word of the Lord is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.

To be faithfully in the Word of God, allowing it to renew my mind and wash over me, is an important part of me continuing to trust that He will care for and sustain me, as I rely upon Him.

In the second usage of this phrase, we see the people of Israel being “stirred up” to move back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple of God.  They had lived in Babylon for 70 years.  They were established and yet the Lord stirred up people to return, to go to work, to take risks and the long journey home.  What a time to live in.  To see the fulfillment of the prophecy of the return to your country and to be a part of that move. I see that in many ways we are in the same place.  There is a move of God. The Lord is “stirring up the spirit” of his people.  Will you be one of those that is willing to leave the old life, the way you have always known, to go on with the Lord and the move of the Spirit of God and begin the journey to rebuild?

Let’s together position ourselves in such a way that, as the Lord stirs, we are ready to respond.  Galatians 5:25 tells us to “live by the Spirit of God”.  We have been called to live under the constant guidance and influence of the Lord’s Spirit.  To live, Spirit-led.


Laura Ballard


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