For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him; but His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him - (Ezra 8:22).
The feelings that this man of God had were in some ways understandable and in other ways not. It is easy to see why he could have been ashamed or embarrassed. The proclamation had been made that the hand of protection of God was on all those that sought Him. It was said that God would strike down all the enemies of His people. It would seem that trust was being put in man instead of God by asking for military assistance. If this was the case, there was definitely an error to trust anything over God. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (I Tim. 4:10).
On the other hand, things can always be looked at in a different way. It is true that God often works in supernatural ways. We see that clearly in select parts of the Word of God. There were healings, resurrections from the dead and many other miracles done, especially during the time that Christ lived in human form. Many seek after God for this very type of work in their life. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world (John 6:14).
However, God will work, often, in other ways. God will use natural means to meet the needs within our lives. When we need comfort, He may send it through a dear friend. When we need healing, He may send it in the form of a doctor. And when we need protection, God may send an army of humans or an army of angels or whatever he chooses. The choice must be left up to the Lord.
The Lord could very well do exactly as this verse said using either a human army or an angelic one. God can use either to crush the enemies of Him and His people.
Don't be so quick to direct praise to human beings that might still belong to God. It was God who gifted the doctor, laid us on the heart of a friend or sent the army to rescue us. You can trust and believe that God may use whatever means He chooses to answer the prayers of His children.
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 (I Pet. 3:12).
Thought for Today:
When other Christians disappoint us, we need to pray and intercede to the Lord for them.
8:29 chambers, storerooms; 9:3 mantle, robe; 9:7 confusion of face, shame, confessing to following God but living like the world. As the people of God, we are to come out from among them, and be . . . separate (II Cor. 6:17); 9:8 a nail in His Holy Place, a secure hold on the promised land; 9:12 wealth, well-being.
By Ezra, who mourned over the sins of the people of Jerusalem (Ezra 9:5). Twice it is recorded that, when Jesus looked upon Jerusalem, He also mourned for the people (Luke 13:34; 19:41).
Pray for Staff: Tifany Edwards • Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Government Official: Sen. Mike Lee (UT) Country: Jamaica (3 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: English and Creole • Religious freedom • 78% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 7% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Believe that what God promises, He will bring to pass (Gen. 15:1-6 & 21:1-3).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 1:1-2