Accomplish GREAT THINGS through God’s MIGHTY HAND
May 16 Bible Reading: Ezra Chapters 7-10
"On the first day of the first month he (Ezra) began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel." (Ezra 7:9-10)
About sixty years had passed after the Temple in Jerusalem was completed and dedicated under the leadership of Zerubbabel. During this time the priest Ezra, who was a direct descendant of the High Priest Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5), a skilled scribe and an expert in interpreting the laws of God through Moses, had remained in Babylon to compile a historical record of the Israelites. As Ezra prepared his heart to seek God and do His will, he felt inspired to travel to Jerusalem to teach law to the Jews living there and got permission plus all provisions from King Artaxerxes on this venture. God’s mighty hand was upon Ezra, as he explains thus: "So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me." (Ezra 7:28b).
Ezra found strength and courage knowing that God was with him every step of the way (Ezra 7:9, 10, 28). He sought God through fasting and prayer at the river Ahava for both provision and protection to back up the following words he had spoken to the king earlier: "The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him." (Ezra 8:22b). As Ezra writes his travelogue, the same hand of God delivered him from the enemy and every ambush that would take place during the way: "Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road." (Ezra 8:31)
Indeed, Ezra could accomplish great things through God’s mighty hand – he led the Jews living in Jerusalem to a great spiritual renewal as they put away their foreign wives, confessed their sins to God and made a covenant to serve God alone (Ezra 10:1-44). We too can accomplish great things for God when we trust God for support and rely on His mighty hand for help.
- "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear." (Isaiah 59:1)
- “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:6)