Following the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, after their captivity in Babylon and prior to the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple, there was the resumption of worship at the Temple site (Ezra 3:1-6). Worship – This must always lie at the heart of the life of God’s people. Once the foundation had been laid at the Temple, there was joyful thanksgiving – “They prayed and gave thanks to the Lord … He is good; His mercy toward Israel endures forever … Praise the Lord” (Ezra 3:11).
In Ezra 4, we read of opposition to God’s work. This opposition led to a temporary hold in God’s work (Ezra 4:24). Inspired by the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah, Zerubbabel resumed the rebuilding of God’s Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 5:1-2). The work was completed (Ezra 6:15) and dedicated to the Lord (Ezra 6:16). At the heart of the dedication of the Temple, there was worship – joyful worship (Ezra 6:19-22).
Ezra was a man of God. His life was grounded in the word of God. He brought the Word of God to others, teaching them to build their lives on the word of God. In Ezra 8:22, we have a Old Testament statement of the spiritual principle, taught by Paul in Romans 8:28 – “Our God works things out for the good of everyone who dedicates his life to serving him.”
In His Word, God calls us to make a total commitment of our lives to Him. Where we have failed Him, we must make confession of our sin and pray that He will give us the strength to live a life that is pleasing to Him and brings glory to Him.