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Ezra Chapter Eight, A Journey By Faith...

In our study of Ezra chapter eight we will look at his journey to Jerusalem and how he walked by faith. 

Ezra 8:1 - 14

"These are the family heads and those registered with them who came up with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes: of the descendants of Phinehas, Gershom; of the descendants of Ithamar, Daniel; of the descendants of David, Hattush  of the descendants of Shecaniah; of the descendants of Parosh, Zechariah, and with him were registered 150 men; of the descendants of Pahath-Moab, Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah, and with him 200 men; of the descendants of Zattu, Shecaniah son of Jahaziel, and with him 300 men; of the descendants of Adin, Ebed son of Jonathan, and with him 50 men; of the descendants of Elam, Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, and with him 70 men; of the descendants of Shephatiah, Zebadiah son of Michael, and with him 80 men; of the descendants of Joab, Obadiah son of Jehiel, and with him 218 men; of the descendants of Bani, Shelomith son of Josiphiah, and with him 160 men; of the descendants of Bebai, Zechariah son of Bebai, and with him 28 men; of the descendants of Azgad, Johanan son of Hakkatan, and with him 110 men; of the descendants of Adonikam, the last ones, whose names were Eliphelet, Jeuel and Shemaiah, and with them 60 men; of the descendants of Bigvai, Uthai and Zaccur, and with them 70 men." NIV translation

Here, we see a list of the families that made the trip to Jerusalem with Ezra.   

Ezra 8:15 - 17

"I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there three days. When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levites there. So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning, and I sent them to Iddo, the leader in Casiphia. I told them what to say to Iddo and his kinsmen, the temple servants in Casiphia, so that they might bring attendants to us for the house of our God." NIV translation

When Ezra surveyed the crowd, he found that they did not have any Levites who would be the temple servants. These were the ones that were trained to take care of the things of God and so, he sent for them.

Most of us would have probably tried to go on with what we had but Ezra knew that God had set aside the Levites for that job and so he went about getting them.

Ezra 8:18 - 20

"Because the gracious hand of our God was on us, they brought us Sherebiah, a capable man, from the descendants of Mahli son of Levi, the son of Israel, and Sherebiah's sons and brothers, 18 men; and Hashabiah, together with Jeshaiah from the descendants of Merari, and his brothers and nephews, 20 men. They also brought 220 of the temple servants - a body that David and the officials had established to assist the Levites. All were registered by name." NIV translation

We see that the priests and temple servants were provided and we can thank God that we are all able to serve Him now. The only requirement for serving the Lord is a relationship with Him. Under the Mosaic Law, service was based on the relationship to family lines but Jesus fulfilled the Law and made a way for us to serve God.

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