Ezra 8

* The companions of Ezra. (1-20) Ezra implores God's blessing.

(21-23) Treasures committed to the priests. (24-30) Ezra arrives

at Jerusalem. (31-36)

1-20 Ezra assembles the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed

of Judah. God raised up the spirits of a small remnant to

accompany him. What a pity that good men should omit a good

work, for want of being spoken to!
21-23 Ezra procured Levites to go with him; but what will that

avail, unless he have God with him? Those who seek God, are safe

under the shadow of his wings, even in their greatest dangers;

but those who forsake him, are always exposed. When entering

upon any new state of life, our care should be, to bring none of

the guilt of the sins of our former condition into it. When we

are in any peril, let us be at peace with God, and then nothing

can do us any real hurt. All our concerns about ourselves, our

families, and our estates, it is our wisdom and duty, by prayer

to commit to God, and to leave the care of them with him. And,

on some occasions, we should decline advantages which are within

our reach, lest we should cause others to stumble, and so our

God be dishonoured. Let us ask wisdom of God, that we may know

how to use or to refuse lawful things. We shall be no losers by

venturing, suffering, or giving up for the Lord's sake. Their

prayers were answered, and the event declared it. Never have any

that sought God in earnest, found that they sought him in vain.

In times of difficulty and danger, to set a season apart for

secret or for social prayer, is the best method for relief we

can take.
24-30 Do we expect that God should, by his providence, keep

that which belongs to us, let us, by his grace, keep that which

belongs to him. Let God's honour and interest be our care; and

then we may expect that our lives and comforts will be his.
31-36 Enemies laid wait for the Jews, but God protected them.

Even the common perils of journeys, call us to go out with

prayer, and to return with praise and thanksgiving. But what

shall we render when the Lord has led us safely through the

pilgrimage of life, through the gloomy vale of death, out of the

reach of all our enemies, into everlasting happiness! Among

their sacrifices they had a sin-offering. The atonement sweetens

and secures every mercy to us, which will not be truly

comfortable, unless sin be taken away, and our peace made with

God. Then had the church rest. The expressions here used, direct

us to the deliverance of sinners from spiritual bondage, and

their pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem, under the care and

protection of their God and Saviour.

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