“Ezra 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...
“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. For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
“This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra:.. ‘I decree that anyone of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom, who freely offers to go to Jerusalem, may go with you… and also carry the silver and gold that the king [has] freely offered to the God of Israel… Whatever seems good to you.., you may do, according to the will of your God… And whatever else is required for the house of your God, which it falls to you to provide, you may provide out of the king’s treasury…
“And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God. And those who do not know them, you shall teach…’
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. 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 7:6,9-11,13,15,18,20,25,27-28
The hand of God had written hunger for His word on Ezra’s heart and guided his hand as a scribe. The hand of God directed his heart in effectual prayer and answered generously beyond imagining as only He can do. Ezra recognized that the king’s favor and provision came from His hand, and took courage and boldness to set to out to do his assigned work. He opened his hands in trust as he led the consecrated contingency in dependent prayer, and God’s hand protected their journey. The hand of God is mighty to perform. (Joshua 4:24; Psalm 89:13; Ezra 7:16-24; 8:21-31)
The hand of God is the mighty hand that upholds, guides, and comforts us. It stills our racing hearts, guards us from worry and evil, and leads us forward in service. Acknowledging His hand compels us to thank Him for its grace and to take it in walking forward.
Would we commit to trust His hand each morning and trace it at the end of each day? How might these determinations and recollections build faith and increase our penchant to praise? How can others recognize God’s hand at work in us? (Acts 4:13)
Father, keep me in Your grip and favor that I might handle all You ask of me to the magnifying of Your name.