"Better life" and being in the minority
Week 21: 18/05/2023. Thu
Compare! Must compare! Don't say "Don't compare!" It was 42,360 returnees earlier in Ezra 2:64–65, plus others. But subsequently Ezra 8:1–8 only disclosed very small numbers in this batch of returnees—1226 men plus their families.
Conditions in Babylon were probably more favourable and attractive for the people of God during the time of Ezra's return to Jerusalem in the west. Where news travel fast, comparison of "employment prospects" here and elsewhere probably resulted in less people taking up the opportunity of returning.
In view of that, Ezra's attitude of leading a return was even more remarkable. Though the journey was long and the "economic prospects" dimmer (at least from the limited perspective of residents still in Babylon), Ezra saw that this was more than dollars and cents. Ezra sensed alternatives.
Ezra saw that this was the LORD's will for Ezra's generation—to have a people worshipping Him in the temple at Jerusalem. Ezra also sensed the various factors that pointed to him leading a batch of returnees on an "exodus" that was prophesised by the LORD's prophets before him.
REFLECTION: Do you sense the opportunities presented to you in 2023, now? The age of post covid-19, the age of AI that brought much data to your finger tips. Knowledge has now become only a commodity freely available to all via the connect networks all over the world.
But there is one thing that technology cannot replace—you and those you are leading, to "Go" and "Obey God", more than just "know" or possessing data. Being in the minority do come with its inherent apprehensions, but we must more than overcome that, if we were to accomplish God's will for us at this moment in history.