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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: August 7th
“The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity.”
More than seventy years after Sheshbazzar had led the first exiles back to Jerusalem, according to the decree of Cyrus, the Lord stirred up Ezra, a priest, to conduct another company to the beloved city. Leaving all the ease and comfort of the land in which they dwelt, believing men and women joined together to return to the sacred place where their fathers had aforetime Worshipped the true God. The company started with the full sanction of Artaxerxes, the Persian king. Ezra, acting as his own historian, says
Ezra felt that they must have the priests of the Lord with them. What can righteous men do without the ordinances of religion?
He begins well who begins with prayer.
Ezra 8:22 , Ezra 8:23
Prayer is both shield and sword. Faith in this case bore herself bravely in refusing to com- promise the honour of God by begging protection of the Persian king.
He travels safely who has the Lord of Hosts for his convoy.
Care should always be taken that all that belongs to the Lord’s house should be exactly accounted for.
Thus with devout hearts they commenced a new and happy era for Jerusalem. Those who act with an eye to the glory of God shall receive honour at his hands.
My soul shall pray for Zion still,
While life or breath remains,
There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God, my Saviour reigns.
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.”
While matters were being conducted so well by Ezra and his friends, and their great care was for the house of God, the Lord was mindful of them, and found them a friend at court, who speedily came to Jerusalem with reinforcements, and, what was best of all, with permission from the Persian king to build the walls of Jerusalem, for the city had remained unfortified all these long years. We shall now read the story of Nehemiah.
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.
A grand court dignitary, cupbearer to the king.
Great good came of this pious conversation. It is well when good men talk of good things.
See the providence which called him to do his office just at this time.
This was well done. Silent prayer works wonders, and wastes no time.
He was highly esteemed, and the king was loth to part with him.
So that he came as governor in due state.
Enemies always come forward when good is to be done. We must reckon on this, and we shall not then be troubled about it.
Nehemiah 2:12 , Nehemiah 2:13
This night survey was wise. Plans are best kept secret till they are matured We must serve the Lord prudently as well as zealously. Lord, teach us how to do this.
the Fifth Week after Easter
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