ODJ: guard these well

October 1, 2013 

READ: Ezra 8:24-30 

Guard these treasures well until you present them to the leading priests, the Levites, and the leaders of Israel, who will weigh them at the storerooms of the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem (v.29).

Japanese-born baseball player Ichiro Suzuki, having led professional leagues in Japan and America in batting, is arguably one of the best batters to ever play the game. One could say he has a special bat—literally. The Mizuno sports equipment company custom-makes bats for Ichiro by hand. They use Tamo wood grown on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, and Ichiro cares for them like Stradivarius violins. He even uses a custom-made suitcase that’s shockproof and moisture-free to protect them.

When the Israelites were returning from captivity in Babylon, Ezra appointed priests and Levites to guard the treasures that had been entrusted to them for the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 8:24-27). After the precious metals and items had been weighed and counted, the men endeavoured to get them safely to Jerusalem. Ezra emphasised the guarding of the treasures because he knew their stewardship would be evaluated—they needed to make sure none of the treasures were lost (vv.28-29). The priests and Levites accepted this responsibility. And upon their arrival in Jerusalem, the items were counted again and everything was accounted for by number and weight. This was an example of faithful, responsible stewardship.

God has called each of us to carefully guard the treasures He has entrusted to us. We’re called to guard the gospel by sharing it gladly; to guard our time by spending it wisely; to guard our spiritual gifts by developing and using them faithfully; to guard our material possessions by investing them purposefully; and to guard God’s Word by reading, meditating, memorising and discussing it passionately. Let’s guard these treasures well to the glory of God.—Marvin Williams

Read Matthew 25:14-30 to determine the primary thing required of someone who cares for the Master’s possessions. 
What treasures has God entrusted to your care? Which ones do you need to be more faithful in guarding? How will you do it?