Summary: The road from Babylon to Jerusalem reminds us of another road - the road to revival.
1. THE INDIVIDUAL
"Cyrus king of Persia".
Throughout the history of the Church God has used individuals to bring about revivals e.g. Martin Luther in the Reformation, Florrie Evans in the Welsh revival, W P Nicholson in 1920s Ulster and Duncan Campbell in the highlands and islands of Scotland.
Lord, send us revival!
Let it begin now in me!
Gladly dethroning each rival,
Yield I my heart unto Thee.
2. THE INSPIRATION
"The LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia…all them whose spirit God had raised".
Stirring a saucepan keeps the food from getting burned, lumpy or sticking to the bottom. Two words that are often found on food packaging are ‘stir continuously’. Christians need to be stirred if revival is to come to the Church.
3. THE INCONVENIENCE
"go up…go up…bring up…brought up".
Jerusalem was at a much higher altitude than Babylon. The returning Jews would literally have to go up to Jerusalem.
The road to revival is not an easy one to travel. It is an uphill struggle. The child of God must be prepared to make sacrifices. Evan Roberts prayed “Lord, bend the church and save the world!”
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where these abound,
My constant aim is higher ground.
Many vessels had to be carried back to the temple. The child of God has to carry their cross.
4. THE INITIATIVE
"Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites".
If the church is to see revival it must leave ’Babylon’. In other words it must repent of all known sin. We must turn from our wicked ways.
The altars of God that our sins have destroyed
We must build with the things that remain;
And prove to the world that no promise is void
By sound of abundance of rain.