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EZRA'S JOURNEY to JERUSALEM.pdf

EZRA'S JOURNEY to JERUSALEM.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY J. R. MILLER



Read Ezra VIIL, 21-32

Ezra is an interesting character. He was a priest
and scribe who was commissioned to return from
Persia to Jerusalem, and so took an active part
in the civil and religious affairs of the Jews at
Jerusalem. He led a fresh company of exiles back
with him. A royal edict had been issued by Arta-
xerxes clothing Ezra with authority. He was the
bearer of offerings for the temple made by the
king and by the Jews. He led a caravan. He
was influential in enforcing the Mosaic law among
the people, who had become indifferent to many
features of it. Before setting out he gathered his
company together and spent three days in making
preparation for the journey. The first thing he
did was to seek God's guidance.

BY J. R. MILLER



Read Ezra VIIL, 21-32

Ezra is an interesting character. He was a priest
and scribe who was commissioned to return from
Persia to Jerusalem, and so took an active part
in the civil and religious affairs of the Jews at
Jerusalem. He led a fresh company of exiles back
with him. A royal edict had been issued by Arta-
xerxes clothing Ezra with authority. He was the
bearer of offerings for the temple made by the
king and by the Jews. He led a caravan. He
was influential in enforcing the Mosaic law among
the people, who had become indifferent to many
features of it. Before setting out he gathered his
company together and spent three days in making
preparation for the journey. The first thing he
did was to seek God's guidance.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 27, 2013
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EZRA'S JOURNEY to JERUSALEMBY J. R. MILLER Read Ezra VIIL, 21-32Ezra is an interesting character. He was a priestand scribe who was commissioned to return fromPersia to Jerusalem, and so took an active partin the civil and religious affairs of the Jews atJerusalem. He led a fresh company of exiles back with him. A royal edict had been issued by Arta-xerxes clothing Ezra with authority. He was thebearer of offerings for the temple made by theking and by the Jews. He led a caravan. Hewas influential in enforcing the Mosaic law amongthe people, who had become indifferent to manyfeatures of it. Before setting out he gathered hiscompany together and spent three days in makingpreparation for the journey. The first thing hedid was to seek God's guidance. He says, *'I pro-claimed a fast . . . that we might humbleourselves before our God, to seek of Him astraight way for us. ' ' We should begin every new journey, every new undertaking, every new pieceof work, by asking God to show us the way. TheBible very significantly begins with the words,**In the beginning God." At the beginning of everything God should be recognized and hon-208EZRA VIII., 21-32 209ored. No friendship ever reaches its best unlessGod be in it and God's blessing on it. No business
 
ever can have the fullest success unless the handof God be in it and God's guidance be sought.The things we cannot ask God's blessing upon wewould better not do. The place into which we cannot ask God to guide us we never should enter.Ezra asked the Lord to show him a straight wayto Jerusalem. We need always to seek guidanceof God, for only He can show us the right way.Ezra is very frank in giving the reason whyhe cast himself so completely upon God. He wasseeking the honor of God, and wished therefore,as far as possible, to be independent of humanhelp. ''For I was ashamed to ask of the king aband of soldiers and horsemen to help us againstthe enemy in the way." He had told the kingthat the hand of God would be upon all them thatsought Him for good, and he wished to give theking proof of this in his own experience. It wasa dangerous journey upon which he and his com-pany were about to set out. No doubt the king,with his kindly interest in the expedition, wouldhave furnished an escort if Ezra had asked forit. But Ezra felt that this would be dishonoringGod.A life of faith is a life of dependence uponGod. Part of our witnessing for God before theworld is showing that our trust is not in humanstrength, but in God Himself. We say, "TheLord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." Do we14210 EZRA'S JOURNEY TO JERUSALEMprove our faith in this confession? When need is"upon us, do we show ourselves trustful because theLord is our Shepherd! We say, ^'God is our ref-
 
uge and strength, a very present help in trouble."We sing the words with a measure of triumph inour voices. But do we live as if God were indeedour refuge, as if He were indeed a very presenthelp in all trouble? Many of us are too easilyfrightened in time of danger or trouble. Withsuch a God as ours we ought to be ashamed tobe afraid of anything. We ought not to turn tothe world's help after we have declared sostrongly that God is our defense and our refuge.We should show by the way we meet difficulties,dangers, losses, sorrows, that there is a divinereality on which we are leaning.Ezra was taking up with him a great quantityof silver and gold and the sacred vessels for thehouse of God. He took special care for the safetyof these treasures. •'! set apart twelve of thechiefs of the priests . . . and weighed untothem the silver, and the gold, and the vessels."First, these were good men, honest and trust-worthy, whom Ezra selected. This was important.Sometimes sufficient care is not taken in choosingthose who are to be the custodians of money be-longing to others. In this case the money andthe treasures were all carefully weighed and theamount set down. Again, at the end of the jour-ney, the men were required to account for every-thing they had received. Some people are veryEZRA VIII., 21-32 211careless about money matters. Young personsshould learn that it is part of their religion tobe strictly honest. If others put money into theirhands for any purpose it should be accounted forto the last cent. In societies of different kindsthere is money to be handled, and certain persons

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