We have here an account of the particular care which Ezra took of the treasure he had with him, that belonged to God’s sanctuary, Observe, 1. Having committed the keeping of it to God, he committed the keeping of it to proper men, whose business it was to watch it, though without God they would have waked in vain. Note, Our prayers must always be seconded with our endeavours; the care of Christ’s gospel, his church, and ordinances, must not be so left with him but that it must also be committed to faithful men, 2 Tim. 2:2. 2. Having prayed to God to preserve all the substance they had with them, he shows himself especially solicitous for that part of it which belonged to the house of God and was an offering to him. Do we expect that God should, by his providence, keep that which belongs to us? Let us, by his grace, keep that which belongs to him. Let God’s honour and interest be our care; and then we may expect that our lives and comforts will be his. Observe, (1.) The persons to whom he delivered the offerings of the house of God. Twelve chief priests, and as many Levites, he appointed to this trust (Ezra 8:24, 30), who were bound by their office to take care of the things of God, and were in a particular manner to have the benefit of these sacred treasures. Ezra tells them why he put those things into their hands (Ezra 8:28): You are holy unto the Lord, the vessels are holy also; and who so fit to take care of holy things as holy persons? Those that have the dignity and honour of the priesthood must take along with them the trust and duty of it. The prophet is foretelling the return of God’s people and ministers out of Babylon, when he gives the solemn charge (Isa. 52:11), Be you clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. (2.) The great exactness with which he lodged this trust in their hands: He weighed to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels (Ezra 8:25), because he expected to have it from them again by weight. In all trust, but especially sacred ones, we ought to be punctual, and preserve a right understanding on both sides. In Zerubbabel’s time the vessels were delivered by number, here by weight, that all might be forth-coming and it might easily appear if any were missing, to intimate that such as are entrusted with holy things (as all the stewards of the mysteries of God are) are concerned to remember, both in receiving their trust and in discharging it, that they must shortly give a very particular account of it, that they may be faithful to it and so give up their account with joy. (3.) The charge he have them with these treasures (Ezra 8:29): “Watch you, and keep them, that they be not lost, nor embezzled, nor mingled with the other articles. Keep them together; keep them by themselves; keep them safely, till you weigh them in the temple, before the great men there,” hereby intimating how much it was their concern to be careful and faithful and how much it would be their honour to be found so. Thus when Paul charges Timothy with the gospel treasure he bids him keep it until the appearing of Jesus Christ, and his appearing before him to give account of his trust, when his fidelity would be his crown.
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