Ezra 7-8 (The Daily Walk Bible).
Love this from the devotional: “Have you ever tried to help God out by doing for him what he has already promised to do for Himself? Abraham tried it (Genesis 16) by fathering Ishmael, even though God had promised to give him a son by Sarah. Saul tried it (1 Samuel 17:38-39) by covering David with the kings’ bulky armor, but the young shepherd boy knew God wanted him to use a proven, less cumbersome method to defeat the giant Goliath.” The devotional goes on to talk about how Ezra dealt with this temptation in his own life: “For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, ‘Our God protects all those who worship him, but his fierce anger rages against those who abandon him.'”
Is it wrong for us to rely on earthly protections when we are children of God? I really do think that it depends on the situation. In Luke 9:3 Jesus said this to his disciples: “Take nothing for your journey. Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.” Yet in Luke 22:36 he says this: “But now take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!” The Bible isn’t contradictory, it’s just that sometimes different circumstances demand a different response. How do we know how to respond in or own lives? When do we take a cloak, and when do we not? It changes, depending on our circumstances. In general, in order to make right decisions we need to heed the Bible, pay attention to the Spirit, and even ask other godly people for wisdom. Our own spiritual maturity will go a long way towards that understanding as well. And that’s what we’re attempting to gain by our daily study of God’s Word !