Today’s Reading – Ezra 3 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17
Read the “0528 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.” (Ezra 5:5)
“Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem: And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.” (Ezra 7:27-28)
The context of these chapters from the Book of Ezra involve the period when the children of Israel were released from captivity in the Land of Babylon. In 586 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar had completed his destruction and plunder of the City of Jerusalem, and had take most of the citizens into captivity. After many years in Babylon, and later Persia, a good and godly king named Cyrus gave certain of the captives permission to return to the Land of Israel and begin to rebuild it and the Temple of God within it. Years had passed while the construction dragged on, and finally, during the reign of King Artaxerxes, some opposition came along and actually caused the work of the Temple to cease. This is all laid out very clearly in the passage, and I am leaving out large portions of the story. However, some more years pass and the prophet Haggai stirs up the people to get back to work, and this time, God prevents the enemies of His people from causing the construction to stop, and the people of God were able to complete the project.
The two phrases that caught my attention in the middle of this drama are found in Ezra 5:5, and Ezra 7:28. In those verses it states that God’s eye was upon the elders of Judah, and God’s hand was on Ezra specifically. I have listed below some verses that tell us about the eye (or eyes) of the Lord. It discomforting to know that God is watching over us, and He is ready, willing, and able to help us as we fulfill His will for our lives. Carefully consider the following verses. God has got His eye on you.
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;” (Psalms 33:18)
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a)
“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” (Psalms 34:15)
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)
Posted in Thoughts from Ezra by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.