“Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to their own town).” (Ezra 2:1)
Preservation Hall is a musical venue in the French Quarter, founded to protect, preserve, and perpetuate traditional New Orleans Jazz. The jazz band musicians have held the torch of New Orleans music for more than 50 years as a reminder of a vibrantly living history. The purpose — to preserve jazz!
When we see a list of names, it always makes for dull reading, whether in a telephone book or the Bible. However, the way these names are grouped in Ezra 2:1 reveals God’s care for the people of Israel. They never lost track of their Israelite identity during two whole generations in Babylon. Knowing their family record also placed them according to Israelite families, towns, and religious duties in the temple. Like the temple articles, these people were carefully stored in readiness. The people were preserved for a great purpose — to serve God again!
Do you realize how much God cares for you? He has gone to great measures to prove it! If you can’t see this, stop and count your blessings! It is not a coincidence that you are still alive and reading this devotional. What is the purpose for which you are preserved? To serve God!
He is not finished with you. You are still a child under construction! Your greatest days of walking with Him and serving Him are yet to come!