The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




How He Got That Hand

"Praise be to the Lord, the God of our fathers, who has put it into the king's heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way and who has extended His good favor to me before the the king and his advisers and all the all the king's powerful officials. Because the hand of the Lord was upon me, I took courage and gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me" (Ezra 7:27-28).

To get the full flavor of how the hand of God was upon Ezra, I want to recount for you what happened to him and the people as they prepared to leave captivity and go home to Jerusalem. These were no ordinary things for sure... King Artaxrexes gave them silver and gold for the trip. Here's the kicker! It was so that they could buy animals for sacrifice. Imagine a heathen king doing that... He gave them enough to get whatever they needed for the service to the Lord, and, it was tax-free. Today's verse was written in recognition of those things.. As Ezra was preparing to leave, he noticed that there were no sons from the tribe of Levi. He sent men to find some, and they found 38, so they could now carry on their sacrifices. The route from Babylon to Jerusalem was not a safe one, so Ezra proclaimed a fast for their protection by God. "I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from our enemies on the road, because we had told the king , 'The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to Him, but His great anger is against all who forsake Him.' So we then fasted and petitioned our God about this, and He answered our prayer" (8:22-23). God's hand was indeed upon them, and they arrived safely in Jerusalem. (8:31-32). This is such an inspiring story, that it stands by itself as an outstanding devotional for each of us, but lets go a bit farther... From the beginning to the end, the hand of the Lord was upon Ezra. The big question here revolves around why he enjoyed God's favor and provision in his life. Is there something we can gather from Ezra's story that might ensure us to have that same hand of God upon us? You have the weekend to ponder this as we complete the devotional next week... Email me if you get some ideas...

Have a great day... Go about doing good... Love mark Phil.4:11

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