Ezra had refused military protection from the King of Persia for his trip from Babylon to Jerusalem. He said that since the good hand of God was with them, they had nothing to fear. He then said to the King “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him.” The trip back was not “uneventful” but they reached Jerusalem and Ezra reports once again, “The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way.”

Ezra mentions the “hand of God” four times with respect to his return to the promised land.  He expected God to be with him as he attempted this great thing for God. But more importantly, he saw the hand of God in everything that he did. He acknowledged that everything came from the “hand of God.” He trusted the “hand of God” to be in his favor, and he saw the hand of God in all the good things of his life.

There comes a time in all our work and effort that we must finally relax in the “hands of God” realizing that in spite of all we do the results are always His. Man proposes, God disposes. While watching his army depart for the European invasion, General Dwight D. Eisenhower led his staff officers in prayer and then concluded: “There comes a time when you’ve used your brains, your training, your technical skill, and the die is cast. The events are in the hands of God, and there you have to leave them.”

I expect Peter means something like this as he advises us to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!”  Revelation 2:4 (NLT)