by Heather Tietz
For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is on all those who seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all those who forsake him.”
Before the time of Jesus, before Roman rule, journey by foot was precarious. Roads were not usually protected. Law was not enforced. Bandits were common. Here, Ezra sets out to journey from Babylon to Jerusalem carrying with him treasure for the temple of God: 30 gold dishes, 1000 silver dishes and multiple utensils. With the king’s permission, 220 temple servants, about forty Levite priests, and the prayers of God’s people, Ezra sets out on his journey. He takes no military protection with him, simply the fasting and prayers of God’s people. After several months of journey, the temple treasure arrived safely.
God was enough.
Do you believe it? God protected His people in His own way. Most of the time no military might was involved. When Pharaoh’s army set out to stop the fleeing Israel people, God held them back with a cloud and then swept them away with the waters of the Red Sea.
Later, God defeated the Canaanites with an unexpected rain storm that stuck their chariot wheels in the mud. He set the Midianite armies running with the smashing of jars and blaring of horns. He tumbled the strong walls of Jericho with seven days of marching around its walls. He blinded the Syrian army at Elisha’s request.
If winning, if protecting, if saving His people is what is best, God will do it and He will do it His way. Ezra didn’t need a military escort. Our God has all the tools of salvation at His hands. We can trust Him!