The background to our reading is that the Israelites were sent to exile as a result of their disobedience to God. Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean king of Babylon carried the people into exile as well as articles of gold and silver from the great temple of God. The temple was eventually left in ruin.

During the first year of Cyrus (r. 559 BC), a Persian king, he gave orders for the restoration of the temple (Ezra 1:1-11). He also decreed that the cost of the rebuilding of the temple would be paid from the royal treasury. Cyrus further decreed that the articles of silver and gold that Nebuchadnezzar took into the temple of his god in Babylon should be returned to Jerusalem. One amazing fact is that this decree was written and kept in the archives.

The rebuilding of the temple faced stiff opposition at the beginning of the reign of Xerxes (r. 485-465 BC) – Ezra 4:6-7 and stalled during the reign of Artaxerxes (r. 404-358 BC) – Ezra 4:23-24. There was another opposition during the second year of Darius, possibly Darius III (r.337 BC). Though many years had passed, because Cyrus’ decree was written, nothing could change it.

The above narrative indicates the importance of writing. The writing (decree) of Cyrus served the needs of the then generation and those after. Similarly, the written word of God (the Bible) though written thousands of years ago, is serving the needs of generations to date. The above also reveals to us the importance of proper records keeping in our various spheres of endeavour. Whether you are into trading, real estates, civil service, full-time ministry or as campus leader, record keeping for the next generation is so important. You need to keep your filing system so well both in hardcopy and online. If this is done well, it may save the organization or the church from needless litigation and setbacks.