Returning from their exile in Babylon, the people of Israel faced an uncertain future. Their release from captivity was miraculous, as a God moved the heart of the pagan King Cyrus to decree their return to the promised land and give them financial and military assistance. However the task ahead of them was daunting and would take several generations. Ezra is a book of encouragement, encouraging those who had returned to continue there work to re-establish the Jewish Kingdom there and encouraging those Jews still living in Babylon to return and join the restoration efforts. It is a lesson of how to persist through defeat and discouragement that we all need to learn today.