King's Business - 1917-10



men for God’s work. Ezra was not will­ ing to weaken his testimony to God’s good­ ness and power. Would that we all were as conscientious in this matter as he. Ezra’s testimony had been a very remarkable one “The hand of our God is upon all, them that seek Him, for good; but His power and His wrath is against all them that for­ sake Him.” The Bible is full of the truth found in the first part of this testimony, namely that “the hand of our God is upon all them that seek Him for good” (2 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 33:18, 19; 34:15, 22; Lam. 3:25; Rom. 8:28). Happy is the man who believes this and walks in the power of this truth. Such a man will never fear men (Rom. 8:31). But the last part of this testimony is just as true, namely, “His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him.” (cf. Josh. 23:16; 2 Chron. 15:2; 1 Peter 3:12), and men should be warned more frequently and faithfully along this line. In our warning we should emphasize the ALL. Every man fancies his case will prove the exception but there are no exceptions. Ezra records not only, “We fasted and besought our God for this,” but also that “He was entreated of us.” How often the Bible records experiences of answered prayer, how often all true believ­ ers can say “He was entreated of me.” The God of the Bible and the God of Christian experience is the same God, that is, He is to us a God who hears and answers prayer. The Bible teaching along this line is unmis­ takable and the teaching of Christian expe­ rience is in perfect accord with the teaching of the Bible. It was. in accordance with a very old promise that God listened to them at just this time (Deut. 4:29 see con­ text). Manasseh when he had wandered far from God tried and proved the same promise (2 Chron. 23 :12, 13. How unfor­ tunate it is that more persons who are in captivity through sin do not put the prom­ ise to the test. vs. 24-27. “Then I separated twelve of the chief {chiefs ) of the priests, (add, even{ Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, and weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the ves­

sels, even the offering (add, fo r) the house of our God, which the king, and his coun­ sellors, and his lords {princes), and all Israel there present, had offered : I even weighed unto {into) their hand six hun­ dred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, {; and) of gold an hundred talents; also (and) twenty basons {bowls) of gold, of a thousand drams {darics); and two vessels of fine copper {fine bright brass), precious as gold." Though Ezra was a man of prayer and great and simple faith, he was in no wise a fanatic but man of level headed business sense, providing carefully even in the secular details of God’s work for things honest in the sight of men as well as in the sight of the Lord (2 Chron. 8:20,. 21). While he could and did trust God he kept and required an accurate account of God’s treasures. That is the Bible way of car­ rying on God’s work. vs. 28-30. And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; {and) the vessels are holy also (omit, also) ; and the silver and gold are a free-will offering unto the LORD (add, the) God of your fathers. Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief {chiefs) of the priests and Levites, and chief {the) of the fathers {fathers' houses) of Israel, at Jeru­ salem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD. So took (omit took) the priests and Levites (add, received) the weight of silver, and the gold, and the vessels to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God." The men who were “separated” unto this work were regarded as “holy unto the LORD.” Those who bear the ves­ sels of the Lord should be holy (Isa. 52:11) and those who undertake to take up God’s work to-day should be holy men. It is important that the minister of the Gospel be a wise man and a whole-hearted man and a genial man, but before all it is impor­ tant that he should be a holy man. They were to exercise great care in regard to the things committed to their charge, “to watch and keep them.” This they did (v- 33). Every servant of God must “watch” (cf. Mark 13:32-37) and keep diligently

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