March - 29 - Wednesday

Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given.
Ezra 7:6

Following God’s instructions as a company

After the 70 year exile in Babylon King Cyrus gave the Jews permission to return to Jerusalem. Just over 40,000 availed themselves of the opportunity and undertook the journey under the leadership of Zerubbabel. Once there they rebuilt the temple. It was not the magnificent edifice that Solomon had built; nevertheless it was the house of God, where sacrifices could be brought according to the biblical instructions.

Some years later a second, smaller group accompanied Ezra, the scribe to Jerusalem. They, too, wished to join in the Israelite service of God as laid down in their law.

Just as the Israelites had the temple of God in Jerusalem, there is also today a place where the Lord Jesus had promised His presence (cf. Matthew 18:20). We can gather to His Name by practising what is laid down in Holy Scripture concerning the church of God. This means that, like Ezra, we need to know the Bible well, acknowledging it as given by God. It contains all the necessary instructions for Christian gatherings.

Through our failure the visible testimony of the church of God has weakened considerably since the early days. Yet the divine promises are still valid, so long as we humbly obey biblical teaching. Even today we experience the Lord’s blessing, when we gather to His Name to remember Him in His death, hear His Word and pray to Him.