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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Ezra 8:21-23

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"PUT ON THE SPOT FOR GOD"
Intro: First contingency to return from Babylon began the rebuilding of the Temple. Work bogged down and finally stopped. 78 years after first Ezra given permission to take 2nd 1500 adult males and approx. $5,000,000 in silver and gold for temple.
I. THE PERILS OF THE JOURNEY.
A. Trip was long & hard.
1. Nearly 1200 miles.
2. A 4 month trek.
3. No super highways.
4. No hotel facilities.
a. Make camp each night.
b. Average 10 1/2 miles per day.
5. Possibly a total of 5,000 making trip when women & children considered.
a. Imagine the provisions necessary.
B. The trip was all in hostile territory.
1. Armed bands of thieves lived off the travelers.
2. The women & small children made flight from enemy impossible.
3. The enormous treasure that they carried made them a tempting target.
The only sane & wise thing to do is to ask the king for a detachment of soldiers to go along as guards for the treasure, but this was impossible because...
II. EZRA HAD BEEN BRAGGING TO THE KING ABOUT JEHOVAH.
A. Ezra well versed in their scriptures.
a. "Ready scribe in law of God."
b. "Prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord & to do it and teach it."
B. He had told king of greatness of Jehovah.
a. How he delivered fathers out of Egypt.
1. Parted Sea.
2. Preserved in wilderness.
3. Gave them the land.
4. Watched over Israel.
C. Now to ask for soldiers to help guard would be inconsistent with his testimony.
1. How vital that our actions are consistent without words.
2. "I love God more than anything in the world."
a. "I would love to give him his tithes but my new car payment keeps me strapped."
3. "I'm so hungry to learn more about God."
a. "I'd like to come to Sun. night but my favorite TV show is on."
b. I'd read the Bible if I just had time.
4. I believe that I don't have to work & God will take care of all my needs.
a. "Could you spare me 5 bucks?"
D. Ezra's bragging put him on the spot.
1. This could be fatal if you were bragging about yourself.
2. But to be put in this kind of spot bragging on what God can do, gives Him opportunity.
E. What is "Confession of faith."
1. My stating what I believe God is going to do.
a. Salvation, healing, finances, growth in Christ... I am crucified..."
2. Importance of saying it.
a. Mark 11:22-24 "Shall have... he saith."
b. Heb. 11:13 "seen, persuaded, embraced, confessed."
c. Barbara Willis regarding tumor.
d. Missionaries in Africa.
3. Make your confession according to the Word.
a. Stand on promises.
4. Live & act consistent with your confession.
a. If you are declaring that God is going to take care of your obligations then-
1. Quit worrying.
III. EZRA'S ACTIONS.
A. Because of his bragging, logical answer out, no request for soldiers.
B. Ezra called upon the people to fast & pray.
1. Safe journey for us & our little ones.
C. 7:9 "And on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem according to the good hand of his God upon him."
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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