Page 14 - December 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 14

zra 8:33-34 records a solemn day in   With a delightful and altogether compre-
              the experience of 12 of the chiefs of   hensible candor, Ezra acknowledges his
        Ethe priests who had returned with   concerns about the journey, and his sense
        Ezra from Babylon. At their encampment   of dependence upon Divine preservation:
        by the river of Ahava, prior to the com-  “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river
        mencement of their journey to Jerusalem,   of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves
        a heavy responsibility had been placed   before our God, to seek of Him a right way
        upon them. Ezra had weighed out for each   for us, and for our little ones, and for all our
        a portion of “the silver, and the gold, and   substance. For I was ashamed to require of
        the vessels, even the offering of the house   the king a band of soldiers and horsemen
        of our God, which the king, and his coun-  to help us against the enemy in the way:
        sellors, and his lords, and all Israel there   because we had spoken unto the king, say-
        present, had offered” (v25, KJV). Having   ing, The hand of our God is upon all them
        dispensed to each his burden, Ezra, in   for good that seek Him” (vv21-22, KJV).
        no uncertain terms, outlined to them the   God’s hand had not failed, and through
        nature of their responsibility: “Ye are holy   the encircling enemies the Israelites had
        unto the Lord; the vessels are holy also;   come with their burdens intact.
        and the silver and the gold are a freewill
        offering unto the Lord God of your fathers.   This solemn scene resonates with our
        Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh   experience in many ways. As believers,
        them before the chief of the priests and the   some very valuable burdens have been
        Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at   entrusted to us. God has allocated us all
        Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of   time, talents, and spiritual gifts, and one
        the Lord” (vv28-29, KJV). Now, the journey   day our stewardship of each of these pre-
        was over and the day of reckoning had   cious commodities will be searchingly
        come. One by one, they made their way   reviewed, to our eternal gain or loss. But
        to the Temple, and delivered their burden   the incidents recorded for our learning
        to be weighed by Meremoth, under the   in this chapter of Ezra seem to echo very
        watchful gaze of Eleazar, Jozabad, and   particularly the exhortation of Paul in 2
        Noadiah, and to have the resulting weight   Timothy 1:12-14: “I know whom I have
        – the index of their faithful stewardship –   believed, and am persuaded that he is able
        recorded in writing.                 to keep that which I have committed unto
          But the numbers listed by Eleazar were   him against that day. Hold fast the form of
        more than an index of human faithfulness.   sound words, which thou hast heard of me,
        They were also a testimony to the faithful-  in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
        ness of God Whose hand had preserved   That good thing which was committed
        the returning Jews and their precious   unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which
        cargo on the long road back to Jerusalem.   dwelleth in us” (KJV).

        366 TRUTH kTidings   December  2018
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