Maybe you’ve wondered if, when, or how God will fulfill His promises in your life. Or perhaps you struggle to see how you can be fruitful in your current season or circumstances. The story of the Old Testament prophet Ezra gives us a powerful example to follow. Let’s look at it through three Fs: Fulfillment, Faithfulness, and Fruitfulness.
First, In Ezra’s story, we see how God fulfilled His promise to rescue His people from exile, restoring them to their land. Captivity and exile should not have come as a surprise to them, because God had repeatedly warned them, through the prophets, that if they continued to disobey Him, exile would be the outcome. Amazingly, despite the people’s sin and God’s admonitions, He’d also promised that He would eventually return them to Jerusalem to rebuild the city, the temple, and their nation. Ezra 1:1 tells us that ‘the Lord fulfilled the prophecy He had given through Jeremiah.’ Jeremiah 29:10 and 14 reads, ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill My good promise to bring you back to this place… I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you… and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’ God stirs Cyrus’ heart in order to bring about this rescue miracle and the fulfillment of His promise.
The events that unfolded during Ezra’s life foreshadow what God did for us through Jesus. Back in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve’s regrettable choice led to the captivity of all humanity. We are born imprisoned to sin, exiled from God. As an Israelite, Ezra was himself in exile, but the Lord used him to restore His people back to their land. In the same way, Jesus came as one of us, living amongst us, and so led us into freedom. Philippians 2:5–8 reveals how Jesus’ time on earth would have felt to Him like a kind of exile.
As we journey through the book of Ezra over the next couple of days, may you see Jesus in this ancient story. May you be encouraged that He enables and empowers you to be fruitful as you seek to know Him and make Him known. We serve a covenant-keeping God who always fulfills His promises. No matter what obstacles you face and no matter what kind of relational, financial, or physical exile you find yourself in, the good news of Jesus Christ – beautifully mirrored in the story of Ezra – is that God will fulfill whatever promises He has made to you.
- Ezra 1:1 – 1:3
- Jeremiah 29:10
- Jeremiah 29:14
- Isaiah 44:28