Read Ezra 2:1-70
For some, today’s reading may have been reminiscent of the genealogies found in other Bible passages. Even though there was no mention of anyone dying, there were still a pile of names and numbers. Someone in 538 b. c. sure kept great records of people, their family lineage, livestock, and of offerings given!
Before we disregard the value of a passage like this, let’s remind ourselves of a bit of history. Seventy years earlier, many Jews had been led into Babylonian captivity. Over the following twenty years, three different waves of exiles from Judah were carted off. And now, at the time of the return, certainly many, if not most, of those original exiles were deceased. It isn’t a stretch to think that the majority of those returning to their home land had never before seen it or were mere children when they had last been there.
In spite of all of the troubles associated with captivity, one generation had successfully passed along a spiritual legacy to the next. They had clearly communicated to their children who they were and where their real home was. Both of those realities could have been easily lost in the generational translation. After all, some of them had neither known anything else nor been anywhere else. Still, they knew who they were and where their real home was.
Those are two truths we can easily lose sight of, aren’t they? Living in this world where we have to do business, relate to others, and declare allegiances, we can forget that we are first and foremost children of the King. We are followers of Christ. While, of necessity, we must live here, we have an entirely different purpose in being here. We are here as His representatives.
Similarly, there are certain joys, alluring temptations, or just plain adverse circumstances associated with the years that we spend on the earth. We dare not forget that our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). That is our true home. Before we establish roots that reach too deeply into earth’s soil, let’s make sure we have our eyes set on our final destination.