THE KING’S BUSINESS
that which is entrusted to him. Their vig ilance was not to cease until their work was done and everything turned over to the proper ones at Jerusalem who would thereafter be responsible. vs. 31, 32. Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he deliv ered us from the hand of the enemy, (omit, ,) and of such as lay ( the Her ) in wait by the way. And we came to Jerusalem and abode there three days." It was a long and perilous journey. It took them three months to traverse the desert and they were not equipped for fighting and carried treasure. The way was infested with theivish Bed ouin, but God had justified Ezra’s testimony to the king (v. 22). God had proved him self better than an army. He is just as able and ready today to deliver us from LESSON ( 1 ) Ezra Seeks Help from God, v. 21. Locate this boundary river Ahava (see map). What indicates the reality of Ezra’s fast? v. 21. What will God do for them that humble themselves? Ps. 138:6. Does He require humility of His worship pers? Micah 6:8. What does Peter exhort us to do before God ? 1 Peter 5 :6. Did our Glorious Lord humble Himself? Phil. 2:8. What sort of a “way” did Ezra seek? v. 21. Did he want what Israel had in the wil derness ? Is there another kind of a way to seek? Ex. 33:13. ■ May we expect God to choose our way if we ask Him ? Ps. 37:23. Whose steps are ordered by the Lord? What is the promise to them that acknowledge His leadership ? Prov. 3 :6. Have we special encouragement to include our little ones in our prayer? Matt. 18:14.
the hand of the enemy. Our enemy is far more subtle and powerful and danger ous than was Ezra’s (Eph. 6:12) but he is no match for out; deliverer. He too is a “Her in wait by the way.” God’s protection was not for a day, but until they reached their journey’s end. “We came to Jerusa lem,” says Ezra. So it will be with us. God will deliver us and protect us until we reach our Jerusalem. How glad Ezra must have been when he reached Jerusalem that he had cast himself so entirely on Him. How all-sufficient is His help. To have “the hand of our God upon us” is enough in any time of peril (Rom. 8:31). Often times the way seems hard and perilous and we are tempted to think it would have been better not to have started, but there is never any just cause for discouragement. W e will come “to Jerusalem” in “due season” “if we faint not.” OUTLINE (2 ) Ezra Does Not Seek Help of the King, ▼ . 22 . What had Ezra told the King concerning God’s protection? v. 22. Had he historic and Scripture ground for this? Ex. 14:26-28. How did he feel about asking a guard after this? v. 22. If he maintained his trust in God, what then ? Rom. 9 :33. If a man say he has faith, how may he prove it? Jas. 2:14. Were there dangers in the way to tax his faith? v. 31. Though God’s hand is on some for good, is it so upon all? v. 22; Rev. 6:15-17. (3 ) Ezra Chooses Trustees for the Treas ure, v. 24. Was prayer and fasting a good prepara tion for this? Acts 6:5, 6; 13:1-3. For what qualities should such officers be chosen? Acts 6:5. Having appointed his trustee, what did Ezra do next? vs. 25, 27. Were silver and gold much in evidence in the Lord’s house? 1 Chr. 28:14-18.
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