Ezra 8* The companions of Ezra. (1-20) Ezra implores God's blessing.(21-23) Treasures committed to the priests. (24-30) Ezra arrivesat Jerusalem. (31-36)1-20 Ezra assembles the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersedof Judah. God raised up the spirits of a small remnant toaccompany him. What a pity that good men should omit a goodwork, for want of being spoken to! 21-23 Ezra procured Levites to go with him; but what will thatavail, unless he have God with him? Those who seek God, are safeunder the shadow of his wings, even in their greatest dangers;but those who forsake him, are always exposed. When enteringupon any new state of life, our care should be, to bring none ofthe guilt of the sins of our former condition into it. When weare in any peril, let us be at peace with God, and then nothingcan do us any real hurt. All our concerns about ourselves, ourfamilies, and our estates, it is our wisdom and duty, by prayerto commit to God, and to leave the care of them with him. And,on some occasions, we should decline advantages which are withinour reach, lest we should cause others to stumble, and so ourGod be dishonoured. Let us ask wisdom of God, that we may knowhow to use or to refuse lawful things. We shall be no losers byventuring, suffering, or giving up for the Lord's sake. Theirprayers were answered, and the event declared it. Never have anythat sought God in earnest, found that they sought him in vain.In times of difficulty and danger, to set a season apart forsecret or for social prayer, is the best method for relief wecan take. 24-30 Do we expect that God should, by his providence, keepthat which belongs to us, let us, by his grace, keep that whichbelongs to him. Let God's honour and interest be our care; andthen 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 withprayer, and to return with praise and thanksgiving. But whatshall we render when the Lord has led us safely through thepilgrimage of life, through the gloomy vale of death, out of thereach of all our enemies, into everlasting happiness! Amongtheir sacrifices they had a sin-offering. The atonement sweetensand secures every mercy to us, which will not be trulycomfortable, unless sin be taken away, and our peace made withGod. Then had the church rest. The expressions here used, directus to the deliverance of sinners from spiritual bondage, andtheir pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem, under the care andprotection of their God and Saviour.
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