Monday, January 12, 2015
Bodyguards and Trusting God
Ezra and a group of exiles were returning from Babylon to the land of Israel. By a powerful move of God on the heart of a king (whose heart is in the hand of God anyway - Prov. 21.1), they are going back with resources and a mandate from the king to rebuild the temple.
But they had to make the journey. Depending on the source you consult, it's a 900-mile journey that could take 3-4 months. It was a long way and it was fraught with peril. Normally, a group with the commission of the king would get to travel with bodyguards or soldiers.
But not them.
Some people read this next passage with an improper and misaligned focus on the word ashamed. I think when it says "ashamed," it's talking about a spiritual lack of trust in horses and chariots (Ps. 20.7) but proper focus and faith in God. Here's the passage:
Then we proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy while on our way, since we had told the king, "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him, and the power of His wrath is against all who forsake Him." (Ezra 8.21-22)
I think they were willing to take the risk to show how capable God is and how powerful He really is. I think the shame would've been in trusting in horses and chariots.
This isn't against common sense. It isn't against being grateful for and using the common graces of doctors, police, and whomever else God grants. It's a case of having them in the right perspective and depending on God in a way that He will get the most glory for it.
That land anywhere on you today?
But that's just me thinking thoughts...