When Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, took over a vast territory from the Babylonians, he allowed the Jewish exiles from the Babylonian captivity to begin returning to their ancestral land of Judah and to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
When the emigres encountered resistance from the occupants of the land to rebuild the Temple, Ezra, the scribe and priest, taught them God’s Law. At first they felt convicted because they had not obeyed the Law. But knowing God’s law helped them know God’s will and gave them the capacity to receive His strengthening to accomplish it. And, consequently it turned their sadness to joy because it gave them hope for a better tomorrow.
We live in a world that is bombarded by negative forces. This world loves a catastrophe; it obsesses over tragedy; it revels in the personal and moral failures of its occupants.