God’s Plain Sovereignty in Ezra and Nehemiah

Reading through Ezra and Nehemiah a few weeks ago, I was struck by how often the Bible says that God is the one who made things work out for Ezra, Nehemiah, and the people of Israel.  A sampling, with emphasis to identify the theme:

  • Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the LORD, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him.
  • Ezra 7:9  For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him.
  • Ezra 7:28 . . .  and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the LORD my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.
  • Ezra 8:18  And by the good hand of our God on us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, son of Israel, namely Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen, 18 . . .
  • Ezra 8:22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 
  • Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way. 
  • Nehemiah 2:8 And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.
  • Nehemiah 2:18  And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 
  • Nehemiah 9:7  You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham.

The question we must ask, then, is if God is sovereign over the victory of His people, the attacks of the enemy, the hearts of kings, and the choosing of Abram, is He not sovereign over you and me? Is it not intrinsic to who He is and how He works that He is the Sovereign King?  Does it not appear clearly that He is the one who rules the will, and not we ourselves?  Praise Him!


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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