We Come Bearing Gifts (Ezra 8:24 – 36)

Ezra appointed twelve leaders of the priests to carry the silver, gold, and articles of the temple back to Jerusalem.  These offerings came from the king his princes, and all the people of Israel.  The had six hundred and fifty talents of silver, plus 150 talents of silver articles, one hundred talents of gold, twenty gold basins, and two vessels of bronze.  Ezra then declared the bearers of these gifts holy, and the articles, and charged them to watch and keep the items safe until they arrived in Jerusalem to give them to the priests and Levites at the temple.  

They departed from the River Ahava and headed to Jerusalem.  God protected them on their journey.  Once they arrived and weighed out the gold, silver, and bronze, the people offered burnt offerings: twelve bulls, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats as a sin offering.  The people of the land supported them.  

As stated in another blog, a talent of gold would be worth nearly $500,000 in today’s economy.  Therefore, they were sent back to Jerusalem with the equivalent of nearly $50,000,000 in support for the temple, just in gold alone.  The silver and other gifts made the total staggering.  It is amazing to see how God provides for His people and His house.  He brings it from unlikely places and people, but supplies all the need miraculously at times.  When God provides, we must carry the gifts to the place where they are needed.  We must distribute the gifts equitably and according to the instruction of the Lord.  Be sure that God never gives us anything just for our own consumption, but rather to serve the greater good of the kingdom.  God will bless you, but not just for yourself.  God will bless you so that you may bless the kingdom and others.  Bear gifts, but do not move past stewardship into ownership.  It all still belongs to God!  

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