Monday, February 23, 2015

Who needs an army?

Then I called for a fast there at the Ahava River so that we might submit before our God and ask of him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our possessions. I had been ashamed to ask the king for a group of soldiers and cavalry to help us in facing enemies on the way, because we had told the king, "The power of God favors all who seek him, but his fierce wrath is against all who abandon him." So we fasted and prayed to our God for this, and he responded to us.

Then I selected twelve of the leading priests, Sherebiah and Hashabiah and ten of their relatives with them. I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the equipment, the offering for the house of our God that the king, his counselors, his officials, and all Israel present there had offered. I weighed out into their keeping six hundred fifty kikkars of silver, one hundred silver containers weighing a certain number of kikkars, one hundred kikkars of gold, twenty gold bowls worth one thousand darics, and two containers of highly polished copper, which were as precious as gold. I said to them, "You are holy to the Lord, and the equipment is holy; the silver and the gold are a spontaneous gift to the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Guard them carefully until you weigh them out in Jerusalem before the officials of the priests, the Levites, and the heads of the families of Israel, within the rooms of the Lord’s house." So the priests and the Levites received the silver and the gold and the utensils as they were weighed out, in order to bring them to Jerusalem, to our God’s house.

Then we left the Ahava River on the twelfth day of the first month to go to Jerusalem. The power of our God was with us; he saved us from the power of the enemy and ambushes along the way. (Ezra 8:21-31 CEB)

<idle musing>
OK, how much money were they carrying, really? Well, those "kikkars" are the same as "talents" in other translations, so they were carrying about 3.75 tons of gold and 24 tons of silver—not including the other gold bowls and other stuff. You can't hide that much stuff in you luggage!

I would say this is probably a robbery waiting to happen, wouldn't you? And Ezra doesn't ask for an armed escort! Crazy man! And they are on the road for 4 months! In wilderness. With no policemen or soldiers in sight. And they get there with nothing lost along the way. Because "The power of our God was with us."

That, my friends, is what faith looks like.
</idle musing>

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