King's Business - 1917-10



Ezra Returning from Babylon OCTOBER 28, 1917. LESSON IV. Ezra 8:21-23. (Read 15-36. Memorize vs. 21, 22). G olden T ex t : “The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him.”— Ezra 8:22. DAILY BIBLE READINGS

Mon., Oct. 22-AEzra 7:1-10. Tues., Oct. 23—Ezra 7:11-20. Wed., Oct. 24—Ezra 7:21-28.

Thur., Oct. 25—Ezra 8:15-23. (The Lesson). Fri., Oct. 26—Ezra 8:24-36. (The Lesson). Sat., Oct. 27—Ezra 9 :5-15, Sun., Oct. 28—Ezra 10:1-12. EXPOSITION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

downright realization of our dependence upon God and determination to obtain His Help that leads us to forego things that are good and desirable in the right time and place in order that we may give ourselves up entirely to the one purpose of seeking God’s favor and help. We would have more of God’s guidance and help in our lives, including the practical details of every day life, if we with the same simplicity and faith that Ezra showed would cast our­ selves upon Him in fasting and prayer. The main object of the fasting in this case was, “That we might humble ourselves before our God.” The one who desires God’s help must get down low before Him (1 Peter 5:5, 6). If we come to God seeking things as our right, that is, as things which He owes us, we shall not get them; but if we come confessing ourselves sinners and cast­ ing ourselves upon His grace we shall get them. That which Ezra and his compan­ ions desired of God at this .time was “a straight way.” God has promised to direct the paths of those who in all their ways acknowledge Him (Prov. 3:6). For this we too should look to Him (Jer. 10:23). Ezra had made his boast in the Lord and was consequently ashamed to ask help of men. Well he might be, but the church of today is not so sensitive. They pro­ claim their faith in God who has promised to supply all their needs (Phil. 4:19) and then resort to all sorts of disfcreditable schemes to extort money out of godless

vs. 21-23. “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might afflict ( humble) ourselves before our God to seek of Him a right ( straight) way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require (ask) of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good (omit, for good) that seek Him (add, for good), but His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and He was entreated of us." The way in the olden time in which godly men and women sought the favor, guidance and help of God was by fasting and prayer (cf. 2 Chron. 20:3; Deut. 9:3; Esther 4:15; Luke 2:37). This olden way was a good way. It was a successful way in the present instance (vs. 23, 31, 32). It would be a good thing for the individual believer and the church if this same way were oftener followed to-day. There are those who think that fasting is out of place in the present dis­ pensation, but a careful study of the Bible shows us that this is not so (Acts 13:23; 14:23). Every great emergency in our indi­ vidual spiritual experience and church life should be met by fasting and prayer. There is of course no virtue or merit in the mere abstinence from food or other desirable things, but there is great power in that

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