In today’s (chronological) Bible reading… Ezra 7-10… we close out Ezra’s book.
There is a gap of 57 years between the completion of the 2nd temple and the arrival of Ezra to Jerusalem. The people had grown spiritually apathetic… lazy about their relationship with God. It was Ezra’s job to try to encourage the people back to God.
In ch.7&8, Ezra emphasizes hands:
– God’s Hand… Ezra was a capable man – a gifted man – but he could do nothing unless God’s hand was on him and those with him. God’s hand is a providing hand (7:6;8:18), a protecting hand (8:22,31), an encouraging hand (7:28), and a guiding hand (7:9).
– Ezra’s Hand (7:14)… God’s Word was in Ezra’s heart as well as his hand (7:10), and it was God’s Word the people needed. There can be no revival apart from God’s Word.
– People’s Hands (8:26,33)… The hands of the people carried the treasures of the Lord, and faithfully delivered them to the temple at the end of the journey. When you – one day – stand before God, you will also “weigh in” and will give account of how faithful you have been with what God has given you.