Ezra 1:6 All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
We have no clear indication whether those who gave all these things to the returnees were Jews or Gentiles. All we know for sure is that God used people to meet the needs of those He had called to serve Him. I’m sure that those who received all these gifts were rather overwhelmed, but this is simply yet another illustration of the reality that God is never at a loss for provision. If necessary He will multiply a small gift, as when Jesus fed over 5,000 people with one boy’s lunch. (Matthew 14, John 6, etc.) The point is trusting obedience on the part of those to whom He has given a task. George Mueller is well known for having run an orphanage on nothing, essentially, not telling anyone of his needs but just praying about them and having people show up with money or supplies when needed, sometimes within minutes of a deadline. His faith was certainly stretched, and many have had their faith grown by reading about him. The irony is that however many such stories we know about, we tend to have trouble trusting God when we are the ones needing the supply. I wonder if God laughs at us sometimes? However, we must not forget that God’s provision demands careful, accurate stewardship. If we use His provision just as pleases us, rather than in obedience to Him, we will not only find that provision dries up, we will also be called to account for it. Even Paul was very careful in that area. (2 Corinthians 8:20-21) We are to trust God, but we must not be presumptive or careless.
We are in the situation of needing a great deal of financial supply within the next month. The amount involved is somewhat mind boggling at this point, but that’s not a problem for God. I’ve got to walk carefully, knowing whom to ask for advice, dotting all the “i”s and crossing all the “t”s. I’m frankly not very good at that. I am to function as something of a “faith engine,” encouraging all who are involved but not feeling I am to do it all myself. I must remember that this is God’s project and everything about Him is holy, and act accordingly.
Father, thank You for the enormous encouragement You have given us over the past 36 hours. Thank You that we could visit a facility yesterday that is similar to what we are planning. Thank You most especially for having been put in contact with another church that has already done what You are leading us to do, so that we may learn from them. Help us get the advice we need from the sources You indicate, so that in every detail we may proceed as You desire, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!