I know! You are saying, “What is she doing?” I know we are just doing the preliminary reading through of Ezra but I just can’t help but share more of this rich chapter of this amazing book! I love God’s Word and the way it speaks to us! Be patient with me. This may feel a little like I am snatching things out of the middle and I am. As long as we keep it in the context of what is before and ahead we will be alright.
I talked last about how Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for protection because he had bragged that his God’s gracious hand was upon anyone who looked to Him. Verse 23 ended that section with, “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and He answered our prayer.” So we know his prayer was about protection on the road from enemies. He had wanted to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen for that protection but instead he asked God for it. Then he calmly says, “and He answered our prayer.” When you read on in verses 24-32 you see how great our God is! They were carrying a ton of stuff that enemies couldn’t miss and would certainly want. When I said a ton I meant that literally. In vers 26 where it says 650 talents of silver it was about 25 tons according to a note in my Bible. The 100 talents of silver articles was about 3 3/4 tons. The 100 talents of gold was the same. They had over 30 tons of just these items for the temple that had been dispersed between the various 12 leading priests. It is really hard for me to even comprehend that trip for them. How did they do it? I am amazed!
Verse 31 and 32 finish the story with, “On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.” Verse 34 tells us everything was accounted for by number and weight, and the entire weight recorded at that time.
Do you think this was an easy trip? I don’t think so. So many pieces of the story are missing but one thing is for sure. God didn’t remove the bandits and the enemies. They were there or Ezra wouldn’t have said God protected them from them. Don’t you think he would have said and we had a smooth trip with not one bandit or enemy to encounter. No I believe this was an exciting, frightening at times trip with encounters along the way that had them on their knees in prayer. What is the bottom line and the quick story giving the most important details? “The hand of our God was on us, and He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.”
My precious friends, I promise to move on to Ezra 9 after taking some time as they did in verses 33-36 to thank my God and offer praises for His mighty and powerful hand of protection, provision and love for me and all I love. I love what I am learning about Him from the book of Ezra. He may not take away my enemies or the bandits that might want something I have, but I know He will protect! So glad you stopped by today. I hope you will camp a bit and study with me. I would love to hear what God gives you from this wonderful book of Ezra! Have a blessed day and never stop growing in knowing God!