Summary: Just a long list of names? There’s more to Ezra 2 than meets the eye.
Ezra 2 gives us a list. Lists are a part of life. Waiting lists, electoral registers, petitions, books of condolence, visitors books, shopping lists, etc. Some lists aren’t very important, others are very important. The list in Ezra 2 is very important. There are hidden treasures which we hope to unearth over the next few weeks.
1. HOW LOW JUDAH HAD SUNK
"the province" (v.1)
Once a great country, Judah was now just a province, a small part of a great empire. She once ruled herself, now she was ruled by others. Why did she sink so low? Because of sin. Proverbs 14:34 "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."
We no longer live in ‘Great’ Britain. We’re in a mess. Sin has brought us low.
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of God’s Word and called it pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternate lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have murdered the unborn and called it a choice.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have coveted our neighbour’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the airwaves with profanity and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
2. HOW LONG JUDAH HAD SPENT
Jeremiah 29:10 "For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place."
70 years - average human lifespan. Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten. For the Christian, this life is a captivity, a foreign country. The Christian is not home, rather he is going home.
"This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
Just up in Glory Land we’ll live eternally.
The saints on every hand are shouting victory.
Their song of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven’s shore
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore."