Morning & Evening Daily Devotional Reading– September 24
by Charles H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by William C. Neff
“For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on our way, because we had told the king that the good hand of our God is upon all that seek Him; but His power and His wrath are against those who turn away from Him.”
For many reasons it would have been desirable for Ezra to have the King’s protection for his people as they traveled back to Judah. But a holy shame would not allow Ezra to seek it. He feared that the heathen king would think his professions of faith in God were mere hypocrisy or that the God of Israel was not able to preserve His own worshippers. Ezra couldn’t bring his mind to lean on human ability in a matter so evidently of the Lord, so the caravan set out with no visible protection, guarded by God Himself– who is the sword and shield of His people.
I’m afraid that few believers feel this holy jealousy for God. Even those who walk by faith to some extent occasionally mar their record by craving aid from man. It’s a most blessed thing to have no props, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone.
Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church if they remembered that the Lord is dishonored by their asking Caesar’s aid? Should we run so hastily to friends and relatives for assistance, if we remembered that God is magnified by our implicit reliance upon Him.
“But,” someone may say, “doesn’t God use these means to accomplish His will?” Of course He does! But our fault seldom lies in neglecting to use them, but rather, in too frequently trusting in the means themselves rather than in God. Learn, dear Christian, to glorify the Lord by not using human means, if by using them, you would dishonor His Name. [M&E]