Ezra 8:28 I (Ezra) said to them, "You as well as these articles are consecrated to the LORD. . . "
We ended Chronicles and now begin Ezra with the decree of Cyrus to send those whom God moved to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Those who first returned went to work right away restoring the altar of God and began offering sacrifices to Him. Then work began on the temple. But there was opposition from their neighbors and the work was halted for a time. However, the Lord raised up prophets to encourage them. They began the work once again. Their neighbors tried to stop them again, but word was sent back to Persia to inquire of their "right" to carry out this word. They continued to work while the search was made and the word from King Darius reasserted their work of rebuilding and provided all they needed to get the job done. So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia (6:14).
King Artaxerxes then sent Ezra, a priest and teacher of the Law, back to Jerusalem and others with him. He was to instruct the people on the Law of the Lord. As Ezra ministered to the people, they were convicted of their disobedience toward God in marrying foreign woman. They repented and sent these away. As the Israelites began again in Jerusalem, they had a heart to obey the Lord. They set their hearts on obeying Him. Thus they consecrated themselves to God.
The Israelites were not only called upon to rebuild the temple; they were to offer their very lives to God and live for Him. Just as David had repented before the Lord in his sin, so these people repented as well. David had prayed (Psalm 51), You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. David was a "man after God's own heart." And the people were giving their hearts to God, as well.
John the Baptist, and then Jesus Himself, came preaching repentance. "The time has come," he (Jesus) said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news (Mark 1:15)!" God is ever ready to receive those who turn away their sin and turn to Him. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22:17)." Let's keep a continual opening in our lives for the Lord as we choose to keep a "short account" and walk before Him in repentance and trust in Him.