By His sovereign power, the Lord used King Cyrus of Persia to provide for the restoration of the altar and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Even after opposition halted the work, the Lord used King Darius of Persia to complete the work.

Although exterior restoration of the Temple was eventually completed, the people were not restored interiorly. A symptom of this was mixed marriages with pagans. The Lord again used a Persian king, Artaxerxes, to send Ezra to Jerusalem. Ezra brought the people to repentance and removed the foreign wives and children from the chosen people. The Lord will work in common and mysterious ways to cleanse our temples (see Jn 2:15 ff).

Key word    THE TEMPLE or THE LAW
Key verse    "This Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a scribe, well-versed in the law of Moses." —7:6
Command verse    "Whoever does not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let strict judgment be executed upon him, whether death, or corporal punishment, or a fine on his goods, or imprisonment." —7:26
Promise verse    "May the God Who causes His name to dwell there overthrow every king or people who may undertake to alter this or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem." —6:12
Difficult verse    "All these had taken foreign wives; but they sent them away, both the women and their children." —10:44
Surprise verse    "I also issue this decree concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that house of God: From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates, let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay." —6:8
Prayer: Father, may I not be wedded to the world in any way. Divorce me from all sin and compromise with the world.