Ezra 8 begins with a list of men who were heads of houses and accompanied Ezra from Babylon. There was quite a list of people that made the trip, but as he took the census Ezra discovered there were none along who were Levites. So he sends for “leading men….who were men of insight”. Ezra knows the Levites were special in God’s kingdom and he wanted them along so he sends some of his men to request that they “send us ministers for the house of our God”.
So they came and Ezra “proclaimed a fast there….that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods”. Ezra knows the path ahead is not going to be easy and would be filled with enemy interference. Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for protection since he had told him earlier that God’s hand was all he needed to protect him. So he didn’t want to now come running asking for a band of soldiers to accompany them. Rather he has the people seek God. “We fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty”.
And God is faithful as He always is. They took off carrying all sorts of gold and silver and other valuables – a real target for their enemies. Ezra split the valuables between twelve men who carried it carefully to Jerusalem. God took care of them. “The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way”. God didn’t use force – He used His power to lead them safely to the city. He is able, more than able, to meet every need we have.
They came into Jerusalem and took the gold and silver and vessels to the temple. The priests weighed the items that were brought and all the weights added up. There was obviously potential for some of the treasure to disappear along the way before being brought to the temple, but obviously Ezra selected trustworthy men. They sacrifice and worship and brought money and messages from the king to the governors there. But most of all, “they aided the people and the house of God”. They were ministers of the gospel and focused on helping people and serving God.