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Monday, 22 July 2019

Ezra 7 : 1-28

“…So I was encouraged, as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me;….”– Ezra 7:28

In the three- part return of the exiles from Babylon, Ezra the priest and scribe headed the second one. His role was to set right the structure of worship for the people as he was much learned in the Law. The book of Ezra describes how Ezra goes about it and in today’s text, how the Lord worked in the heart of King Artaxerxes to help him. In chapters 7&8, there are several references to the “hand of God” in favour of Ezra.

The hand of God denotes His might and power and deliverance! We see it at work in creation: “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span…” (Isaiah 40:12). ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” (Jeremiah 32:17).  And His hands hold the life of all creation- Job 12:10: “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” It brings both awe and a sense of how small and dependable we are on Him!

Ezra perceived the hand of the LORD upon his life and hence directed his ways accordingly. His awareness of the greatness, goodness of God and how He can work on behalf of His children yielded the right act of going to Jerusalem to reestablish the worship norms in the Temple of the LORD. He saw God at work, working His plan through him! Hence God directed the hearts of the authorities to favour him and help him with the resources required. We see the King permit volunteers to go to help him, providing silver and gold and money for buying things for the offering in the Temple. Thus, Ezra was encouraged, experiencing the “good hand” of the LORD in his life!

Ezra 8:22[AMP] points to the negative aspect of willfully rejecting the hand of GOD in one’s life as stated by Ezra: “…but His power and His anger are against all those who abandon (turn away from) Him.” We see how the people who rejected God’s law and bowed before the idol were destroyed in His anger (Exodus 32). When ample evidence exists about the Living God and the gospel is preached as how to turn to Him, people are without excuse! Romans 1:25 says, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Such people will only go further down in their depraved mind. 

But God is a merciful God and doesn’t want anyone to perish- time and again He gives chances for the wayward to turn to Him. His prescribed way- Jesus Christ by whom one is saved from eternal damnation and all sin- even the sin of having rejected God in one’s ignorance. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9 NLT).

Today, choose the good hand of the LORD that can bring your life a blessing of having submitted to Him. If you are willing, Jesus can restore your life so that you may experience the gracious hand of the LORD at work in your life!

Let us Pray:

“…that all the peoples of the earth may

know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty,

that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

Joshua 4:24

Listen- What can I do?

*Reference: ‘Unlocking the Bible’- David Pawson

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