The Hand of the Lord

Ears to Hear Banner 640x260When my cat, Figaro, hears something that arrests his attention, his ears perk up and begin to twitch. It is his way of zeroing in on a particular sound. In a similar way my spiritual ears perk up when God is impressing upon me something that He wants me to hear. He often does this by repeating the same thing to me over a short course of time.

Such was the case this past week. It began on Sunday a week ago when my pastor, Buz McNutt, and I were chatting with Dr. George Sweeting. Speaking of his son in the ministry, Sweeting remarked, “The Lord has his hand upon him.” First of all, what better statement could a father ever speak about his child? I know of none.

As the week went on, I was reading through the book of Ezra in my times with the Lord. When I first stumbled across this description of Ezra, my ears perked up again.

He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the Lord, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.

 

–Ezra 7:6

Ezra was a part of the captivity in Babylon, but became a leader for rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem as God began bringing his people back home. Why did he go?

For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him.

 

-Ezra 7:9

A few verses later, Ezra spoke of his source of courage for the task ahead.

I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.

 

–Ezra 7:28

When Ezra needed Levites to help him with the task (he had none), God provided in this fashion.

And by the good hand of our God on us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, son of Israel, namely Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen.

 

–Ezra 8:18

When Ezra trusted in God for protection rather than in the king, he did so for one reason.

For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king,“The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”

 

–Ezra 8:22

When Ezra and company arrived safely even though enemies existed, he provided the reason for their safe travels.

The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way.

 

–Ezra 8:31

Oh, that the hand of the Lord would rest upon you, upon me, and upon your children and my children.