Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

Conflict and Courage, Page 261

God Their Protector, September 12

Ezra 7; Ezra 8

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.

Ezra's faith that God would do a mighty work for His people, led him to tell Artaxerxes of his desire to return to Jerusalem to revive an interest in the study of God's word and to assist his brethren in restoring the holy city. As Ezra declared his perfect trust in the God of Israel as one abundantly able to protect and care for His people, the king was deeply impressed.... He made him a special representative of the Medo-Persian kingdom, and conferred on him extensive powers for the carrying out of the purposes that were in his heart....

Thus again the children of the dispersion were given opportunity to return to the land with the possession of which were linked the promises to the house of Israel....

Before them was a journey that would occupy several months. The men were taking with them their wives and children, and their substance, besides large treasure for the temple and its service. Ezra was aware that enemies lay in wait by the way, ready to plunder and destroy him and his company; yet he had asked from the king no armed force for protection....

In this matter, Ezra and his companions saw an opportunity to magnify the name of God before the heathen. Faith in the power of the living God would be strengthened if the Israelites themselves should now reveal implicit faith in their divine Leader. They therefore determined to put their trust wholly in Him. They would ask for no guard of soldiers. They would give the heathen no occasion to ascribe to the strength of man the glory that belongs to God alone. They could not afford to arouse in the minds of their heathen friends one doubt as to the sincerity of their dependence on God as His people.... Only by keeping the law of the Lord before them, and striving to obey it, would they be protected.... “So we fasted and besought our God for this: and He was entreated of us.”19Prophets and Kings, 609-616.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»