Isaiah 44:26-27 (NIV)
26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be built,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ 27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams.”
You have been in captivity for seventy years. No finances to afford the return trip to Judah and no finances to be able to rebuild the temple. For most, they had never been back to Jerusalem, they had lived their entire lives in captivity, and they did not know the first thing about building a temple or about protecting themselves as they returned to Jerusalem.
All the evidence was in, this adventure back to Jerusalem was fraught with a long list of impossibilities. To undertake this journey was to be considered a complete fool.
The invitation was given to many to return. All who wanted to could. I am sure there were many that thought this proposal was crazy, fool hardy and something only for the fanatic. God began to place it on the hearts of many to return, as they gathered their ragtag fleet of returning refugees at the last moment they heard that King Cyrus was not only offering them protection, he was also footing the bill for the journey and for the rebuilding the temple.
I guess he does make a way in the wilderness!
See you tomorrow.