“The favor of God is what God can do for you that you cannot do for yourself.”
God’s graciousness or kindness is one of His character traits I’m most drawn to. His benevolence and favor blows me away at times because I don’t deserve it. Ezra, a priest who led the second group of Israelites returning to Jerusalem from Babylon, felt the same way.
In chapters seven and eight of the book of Ezra, six times the priest mentions the “gracious hand of God was on them.” The repeated phrase caught my attention this morning while studying it during my time alone with God. I’m impressed with not only God’s favor and kindness towards Ezra and the Israelites, but also with Ezra’s humble heart.
Over and over again, Ezra acknowledged God’s gracious hand. He didn’t take God’s kindness for granted, nor did Ezra take the credit himself; instead, he gave God the glory. Ezra took the time to journal how God came through for him and the Israelites.
The gracious hand of God was displayed when:
…the king granted Ezra everything he asked for. (Ezra 7:6)
…Ezra took courage and gathered leading men from Israel to go with him. (Ezra 7:28)
…men of understanding joined their group. (Ezra 8:18)
…God protected them from their enemies and bandits along the way. (Ezra 8:31)
…Ezra safely arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month. (Ezra 7:9)
You know the gracious hand of God is upon you when:
…your boss gives you everything you requested and you have their favor.