Background: The book of Ezra recounts the return of God’s people to their Promised Land from slavery in Babylon. First they rebuild the temple and then under the leadership of Ezra, they rebuild their commitement to God. This first chapter reminds us that God can stir up the hearts of anyone to do His will.
Ask the children…
Who’s heart did God stir up to release God’s people to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple?
“In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia,[a] the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah.[b]He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:2 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:1-3)
Who else did God stir up and to do what?
“Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord.” (Ezra 1:5)
When God wants something done, He can and will stir up any heart that He wants to get it done. It doesn’t matter if that person is a follower of God or not, God has access to every person’s heart.
Ask your children if God is stirring up their hearts? What for? Is God stirring up anyone else to do the same thing? How can they move forward in God’s strength to accomplish God’s work?
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
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